Monday, April 23, 2012

Book To Movie Monday (11)


For this weeks Book to Movie Monday I have decided to cover the movie The Road.

First let's discuss the Book, below is the cover.
Now for a little back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the novel. The Road is a novel written by Author Cormac McCarthy and was published September 26,2006 by Alfred A. Knopf Books. The book follows the journey of a father and son struggling to survive in a post apocalyptic world. In 2007 The Road was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Let's look at some of the characters in the book.

Main Protagonists

The Man- The man travels the road with his young son. He is never named only ever referred to as The Father or Papa by his young son. The Man believes he has been appointed by God to protect his son, and he does so at all costs. Unlike his son who craves outside human companionship, the man remains deeply suspicious and even paranoid of other individuals. The man also grows sicker throughout the novel, and his illness is manifested in his persistent cough and bloody spit.

The boy- The boy is born into the post-apocalyptic world and knows nothing about the world before the catastrophe. He travels the road with his father and believes that they are the good guys who carry the fire of humanity. Like his father we never learn his name. He is often referred to as son or the child. In various encounters with other travelers throughout the novel, the boy continues to display his faith in humanity and his trust in others. Despite their near brushes with brutality and death, the boy consistently pleads with his father to help others in need. Something his father is defiantly against.

The man's wife- Already dead at the beginning of the book, her story is only described in flashbacks. She selfishly commits suicide after the catastrophe leaving the man and boy to survive in the world alone. She did not say goodbye to her son, and she killed herself despite the pleas of her husband not to do so.

Ely- Ely is the only person on the road with whom the man and his son have extensive contact. Upon the boy's pleading, the father hesitantly agrees to give Ely food. He also allows Ely to make camp with them that night. Ely longs for a world without any humans, where death itself would be lonely.

Main Antagonists

The Cannibals- Since whatever catastrophe riddled humanity food is scarce. This book has lots of cannibalism by lots of different people and they more than anything else are the biggest threat to the survivors encountered in this book.

Major Differences Between The Book and Movie.

In the book the sense to hide and keep oneself out of view from the cannibals plays a major part in the overall story.
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In the movie you see the man and his son out in the open wandering several times, something they wouldn't do in the book.

In the Book the boy come across a group who are eating a freshly born baby. It's a pivotal scene in the book
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In the Movie this scene is seriously downplayed no doubt due to concern for the audience reaction.

In the Book the mother is barely mentioned but you do see her brutal suicide.
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In the Movie you see the mother through a series of flashbacks and she chooses to just leave her husband and son instead of committing suicide.

In the Book the father finds clean water in a house allowing the pair to live and see another day.
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In the Movie this scene is skipped completely.

In the Book the boy and his father find a bunker filled with food. When they leave they can only take what they can carry.
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In the Movie the boy and his father fill a cart up with the goods allowing them to easily spare a can later on.

In the Book the boy and his father are seen almost as equals in each others eyes.
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In the Movie the father has little patience for the boy and gets angry quite often.

In the Book they meet a thief with missing fingers. The missing fingers represent one who is cast out of the community.
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In the Movie it is never explained leaving the viewer to wonder what it means.

In the end this is a fairly close book to movie representation. While the book is better in terms of describing the brutality of the world and the cannibalism aspects, you just cannot deny the amazing acting of Viggo Mortensen as The Father. Even in future rereadings I put him into the role of The Father because he was just that good. I suggest reading the book if your not squeamish and want to see more of the post apocalyptic world Cormac McCarthy creates. I highly suggest watching the movie as well. It is really a true gem that belongs on any movie shelf.

Well that about wraps up this weeks Book to Movie Monday. I'll post the movie trailer down below in case your curious. Leave a Comment down below telling me which you liked better and why. Have a recommend for an upcoming Book to Movie let me know that as well.


3 comments:

  1. I love how you compared the book to the movie - although this one was too depressing for me to watch through. There are some translations that are awesome (Lord of the Rings & Harry Potter for starters) and others that are just god awful (Eragon and almost every Steven King translation except the Stand). I wonder why movies don't stick to the source more often?

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    Replies
    1. I've often wondered that myself lol. I tend to like the Stephen King adaptations not all of course but a bunch are good.

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  2. I want to read this book... I probably won't see the movie till after I read it. Thanks for the insight on the book and the movie!

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