I gave the book 4 stars. How did the movie compare?
Really very close to the book. This is a literary novel wherein the story is more about the characters’ journey than a complicated plot, and that translates easier to film in some ways because the screen writer isn’t left trying to decide what to cut. But on the other hand, you have to show an emotional journey, which doesn’t always come through in a movie. In this case, however, it did. The only differences I really noticed were that there were a few more flashback scenes with the mother, how she committed suicide was different, and the movie was less graphic than the book.
The father and son relationship was perfect. The dad was a strong protector and provider, the son was curious and as strong as a kid could be. The acting was very good. I can’t imagine what it would be like to play these roles, especially for the little boy, but they all did a great job. I liked the mother as well, and I thought she did a good job of showing the mother’s despair, which led to the father and son being on their own.
Again, this really isn’t a plot-driven story. The plot points are the same as the book, though, and the overall conflict is one of survival. The boy must learn as much as he can from what the father teaches him of how life used to be and how to survive now. You can see the boy grow stronger and more confident by the end. Meanwhile, the dad seems to become more ruthless and less compassionate. There is a scene where the boy is in tears begging his father to show compassion.
It’s certainly not a heart-warming film. It was every bit as dark and depressing as the book. It was powerful and scary in its realism. I can see the world being like this easily in a post-apocalyptic environment. I’m glad I watched it, but I don’t think it’s a movie I would watch again.
Did you see the movie or read the book? What did you think?