The Road (2007) – By Duane L. Martin

 Once in a while I come across a movie that has a really cool idea behind it and is actually really clever in its execution.  The Road, by director Owen Thomas, was just such a movie.

The idea is this: A string of good karmic events takes place leading to a specific conclusion at the end of the movie.

Basically, in its short, five minute running time, this film manages to run through a series of random encounters between people in which once person does something nice for someone, and they do something nice for someone else and so on, until the final conclusion which I won’t reveal here because it has a comic twist that I don’t want to give away.  The conclusion also becomes the whole point behind the film.  You’ll know what I’m talking about if you see it.

Technically, this movie was highly professional and had a really nice look to it.  The photography was excellent, as was the editing (with one exception), which moved the film along at a perfect pace and didn’t stretch anything out needlessly.  What was the exception in the editing?  Honestly, I’ve watched the movie like three times and it really catches my eye every time.  It’s a continuity error.  There’s a part in the last scene where a girl walks in and she’s holding up a roll of duct tape and smiling, but then she sees what’s going on and makes kind of a, "What do you think you’re doing?" face.  Then there’s an edit to the guy, which is fine, but then it cuts back to the girl and she’s got the same expression and body position as when she first walked in.  Other than that, everything in the execution of this film was pretty much flawless.

There was no need for memorizing lines for the actors either, as there was no real dialogue.  Throughout the entire film there’s nothing but very nice music playing and the actors doing their parts, much as the silent actors of days gone by, without the benefit of dialogue that the audience could hear.  That means they had to get the point across with physical acting and body language, and the entire cast did a great job with that and should all be very proud of their work.

Even though it’s only five minutes long, The Road tells a really nice story with a fun ending that will leave you smiling throughout.  It’s definitely worth your time to check it out, and has been making its way around the festival circuit, so if you find it, definitely make time to see it.

Unfortunately, the DVD says it has it’s own section on the Theoretical Films http://www.thefilms.org website, but it doesn’t seem to.  It does however have a MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/theroadmovie.