Following a family on a road trip, we don’t fully understand why the mother, father and two brothers have set out or where they are going. While we may not understand the purpose of the road trip, we soon gain a greater understanding of the family within the car. The father of the family has a broken leg, a toothache, and a personality that seems quite direct and grouchy. The family’s mother is attempting to stay positive but, at the same time, has moments of upset, concern, and worry for her family, especially her oldest son. The family’s oldest son (the driver) is generally quiet, but it’s evident the road trip is being made somehow for him, and the younger brother is packed with energy and non-stop chatter. It’s a long trip ahead, resulting in an unforgettable journey for the family on-screen and the audiences who witness this experience.
To clarify, the film does have various unexpected stops for the leads along the way and isn’t just set inside a car for the whole duration. While the plot and reason for the road trip are vague, the film is rather clever in giving minor and subtle hints along the way. One example is when a family member suspects they are being followed by another vehicle, raising their awareness and suspicion. Despite little clues like this, even as the credits rolled, I’ll be honest and say I still felt unsure of the overall plot and many minor details. However, one aspect I am confident about is that the relationship among this family is the real story.
The film here is incredibly likable, and the dialogue shared throughout feels real and convincing. Each family member has different characteristics, which makes the journey more interesting and audiences more curious to understand them. The filming style here is excellent. While many shots are of the inside of the family car, everything here is smooth and easy to watch. Moments of comedy and drama are captured wonderfully. There are various moments of stunning imagery and jaw-dropping scenery as a setting for our leads’ deep and meaningful conversations. Another quite surprising aspect is the moments of silence where we see leads staring as they process their thoughts and emotions. These moments also feel like the characters are breaking the fourth wall, connecting with the audience and sharing this time with us (at least that’s how the film impacted me).
Overall, this is quite an impacting, touching and memorable film. While everything surrounding the film plot isn’t spelt out for our audiences, there’s enough on display for all to feel connected to our leads and their emotional journey. The leads are the major highlight of the film, delivering strong and realistic conversations. Each lead shines out their character’s different personalities, making the film more pleasing. The filming style is stunning, successfully capturing moments of drama and beautiful scenery with finesse. Hit the Road (2021) is Available in Australian Cinemas from August 24th!