‘The Road to Perdition’ Movie Review

May 5, 2020

The Road to Perdition is the examination of the unfortunate circumstances of determining a fate which is short-sighted. It is to make aims at prosperity with short-cuts in mind. And, typical of organized crime, it is accepted that such a fate is a certainty. Perhaps this is why this film is so refreshing – the deceitful honesty of the perpetrators is apparent in every frame.


Technically, this film is a ripe blend of action and tragedy. The terrific central character of a man who is a paramilitary figure in a crime syndicate permits us to enjoy the violent void which the personalities had accepted as their final destination. This is clear with the recurring Roman Catholic religiosity depicted. Indeed, this is a recurring melody in the organized crime anthropology: that of a fork in the road, of light and dark, and the decision to accept the road to perdition. Curious, it is, why there is a constant sense of exclusivity between goodness, piety, virtue, and material prosperity in the Christian moral conscience?


Or, more properly, the tenants of embracing sin in order to achieve a common objective of a loving family of four in a nice home is the decisive judgment before the eyes of the Lord for a gangster. Not that acquisition of wealth is reprehensible per se despite the condemnation of the rich man entering into the kingdom of God, for this acquisition may not be equivalent to that of the rich man, which is riches for its very sake. Such efforts are naturally reserved for the paragons of human imagination – love and peace – versus the temporal decay of the daily life of the market. But the price surely is not worth the deal with the Devil.


Tom Hanks plays the protagonist’s role superbly, distancing his celebrity to allow the film to set the pace and tone of a stone-cold murderer out for silent vengeance against what has wronged him. He knows his death is certain. The only uncertainty he wishes to vanquish is to avenge his loved one’s murder and to permit his child a chance at eternal life. He succeeds in a poetic finale where his boy is too timid to pull the trigger in the face of death. His father, who placed his bets to grant his posterity a better life than the one he was born into, smiles at his accomplishment in blockading his own road to his child forever.



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