I just finished watching the movie adaptation and simultaneously starting the book. That is, by far, the most emotionally moved I have been in response to a movie in a few years. Not for the terrifying bleakness or the ravenous hunger that drives all post-apocalyptic survivors to madness, cannibalism and despair. For the tiny glimmer of hope for humanity McCarthy has for us right now, yet in his frame of putting us through the worst circumstances ever and seeing some of that humanity, compassion peak out on the other side of nothingness.
One thing I noted as a recurring theme in both the books and movies to The Road and No Country For Old Men: binoculars. In No Country, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is standing on a plateau scanning the barren fields below for his prey while hunting and also in spotting the injured dog. In The Road, ‘The Man’ is constantly “glassing” his environment for safety reasons; to see other people (potential predators) from a distance is a way to stay alive. But the theme to me seems to be for the narrator to have a feeling of distance from the rest of the world. His mindstate is one of being alone in the way he thinks and looks at the world, life.
One last bit. The movie was fantastic in all ways in my mind. The soundtrack by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis fits like a glove. The sound of the world in dissolution around them at all times is perfectly done. It is a sad, crying, aching world that is crumbling at all moments. The acting is fuckin’ brilliant, but then what else would you expect from the likes of Viggo? The cinematography is just about bleak enough to squeeze tears out of anybody’s eyes on its own. Well done.