Sunday, 8 December 2013

''Road to Perdition'' (2002 movie)- Review

Directed by: Sam Mendes
Released: 2002
Country: United States

Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Rating: 5 out of 5


Excellent story and screenplay, perfect atmosphere created by the cinematography and the background music, and strong acting- ''Road to Perdition'' is a great film.   

At the beginning of the film we see a happy family. Michael Sullivan, Sr., and his wife, and their two children: Michael Sullivan Jr., and Peter. One night, Peter asks Michael Jr. about what their father does for a living. Michael Jr. himself has no clear idea about it. He only knows that their father works for John Rooney (Paul Newman), who had raised Michael Sr. because he was an orphan. According to Michael Jr., Rooney sends Michael Sr. for important tasks, and since these tasks are often dangerous, he carries a gun with him.

John Rooney is actually a crime boss, while Michael Sr. works as a hitman for him. Michael Sr. and his wife do their best to keep this fact hidden from the children. But the children, especially Michael Jr., is very curious to know. 

One day, Michael Jr. hides in the trunk of his father's car, while the latter is going on a mission. Michael Sr. is accompanied by Rooney's son, Connor (Daniel Craig). Michael Jr. witnesses a murder... he witnesses how Connor, in the presence of Michael Sr., murders a man. The thing shocks him... he is shocked to learn what his father's real profession is. However, Michael Sr. makes him promise not to say a word about it to anybody, and John Rooney is ready to forget that Michael Jr. had witnessed the murder... but, Connor is not assured... he thinks that Michael Jr. might cause danger... and one day, he enters the Sullivans' house, and mistaking Peter for Michael Jr., he murders Mrs Sullivan and Peter.

When they return home, Michael Sr. and Michael Jr. are shocked. Michael Sr. makes up his mind to take revenge on Connor. He is determined to protect his son. He takes his son to Chicago, where, on one hand, he starts looking for Connor (who has gone into hiding), and on the other hand, he must also protect his son.

It was an amazing film... The atmosphere created with the excellent cinematography and background scores... it was great, simply great. At the beginning of the film, when Michael Sr. and Michael Jr. are in their home, with their family, in Rock Island, the atmosphere is created wonderfully with snow, and with rain now and then. Throughout the film, the setting changes, from a snowy area, to city, to wintry areas, countryside, area around a woods, green farmhouses. Natural scenic beauty is seen very often. And then there is the darkness, another notable aspect of the atmosphere.

Tom Hanks and Tyler Hoeclin are excellent in their roles as Michael Sr. and Michael Jr., respectively. Michael Jr., in the beginning of the film, reflects childhood innocence, like reading books in the middle of the night using a flashlight, and playing snowball fight with Peter. Michael Sr. wants his son to be a good man, he does not want his son to follow his path. He wants to protect his son from the criminal world, not only from criminals and crimes but also from becoming involved in criminal activity. The developing father-son bondage is deeply portrayed. Both Hanks and Hoechlin are wonderful in their roles.

Jude Law plays an assassin who is hired by Rooney to kill Michael Sr. and Michael Jr. Now that is a very strange character. While he (his name is Harlen Maguire) is a crime scene photographer, on one hand, he is also an assassin, and when he murders anyone, he takes their photos and keeps the photos in his collection.

There are also Paul Newman, Daniel Craig, and Stanley Tucci, in supporting roles.

''Road to Perdition'' has a great story and great screenplay, great performance by the actors, splendid background scores, and beautiful cinematography. Thrilling and often emotional, this is certainly a great film.

5 out of 5

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