The Road Book to Film
The film version of The Road is different in many apparent ways; the chronological time scale is different, some events have been changed to show something that will be better portrayed in a film, for instance when the boy and the man find themselves locked in the cannibals house, if they got away with nothing happening there would have been no build up of suspense for the audience. It would be almost impossible for someone to justify which version is better, as Cormac McCarthy stated; “a book is a book and a film is a film, they are very different”, this statement must be remembered when looking at The Road, there are something that are not changed, such as the speech; most of the speech in the film (minus the flashbacks) is directly quoted from the book.
The film does show scenes that are not in the book, the church in keeps with the spirit of the book, the religious connotations that go with churches is played upon in the book and this is brought into the book. Cormac McCarthy agreed that the film ‘kept with the spirit of the book’ which tells us; although the film contains things that are not in the book and misses parts out that it still keeps the same sense of desperation as the book. There are certain scenes missing from the film for instance the inside of the boat, this links directly to the man taking their things, which has been adapted for viewing, in the book the boy wanders off from the makeshift camp, but to add a sense of danger he is sleeping.
Flashbacks in the book do not give us a lot of backstory; however they have been elaborated in the film to produce more of a definite backstory for the man and the boy. With the film you need more backstory as it makes you more attached to the characters, the characters grow on you in the book due to the way they are described and their mannerisms, these are not so easy to portray. The wife of the man and mother of the boy is portrayed in the film as a woman who slowly goes into depression and completely loses hope on the world; this is briefly touched upon but not focused upon in the book, the film elaborated on this.
The film cuts the time frame to fit, in the book you get the impression that certain events last a lot longer than they did in the film; for instance the bunker, in the book you gained the impression they were there for a week maybe even more than that, but in the film it was almost portrayed that they were only there for a night. Another example is the beach, on the beach they stayed for more than one night in the book, but in the film they didn’t even stay for one night before the bandit stole their belongings. There are more subtle time changes, for instance the boy sees the other boy in the film a long time before he saw him in the book, in fact it was when they visited the mas house where he grew up, in the book he sees the boy later than this at a different house.