Scenic Route may not achieve that full catharsis through heated conversations, which spiral out between two friends stranded on a secluded desert highway but it certainly transcends the sophisticated boundaries that friends usually set for themselves. And during moments of dire conflicts, they lose sensitivity, and reverence for each other and merely become two wild animals fighting for one’s pride.
The film has an impeccable atmosphere. What better than the grueling heat of the desert to stage a conversation that’s born out of sheer desperation? They had to talk; rattle the roots; kindle things that are buried deep down; put them out in the open; dissect. Of course they defend themselves at first but knowing that they can’t escape the realistic fallout of all those compromising life decisions, they continue the philosophical surgery. Once they run out of resources, the film slowly evolves to be an excruciating tale of survival and endurance. Do they look out for each other? Or do they trample on each others’ grave?
Scenic Route has its moments. It certainly takes off on an interesting note. It rolls with a good plot and a few great lines. Emotions are well founded and the lead characters’ acting sharply reflects the pain of all half measures they had taken, and the betrayals, and the indiscretions throughout their life. But the lethal aspect of the film is that it brings out the hard notion that a great friendship could define itself if it continues to survive after it reaches the point where ideologies confront and clash and lead them even into a rough physical altercation.