have always wined and dined with each other but many a time it has
to be not such a successful marriage. With an individual’s imagination
being unique, it can be hard for one director’s vision to match the
difference in expectation. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road is about
loved a book as you are ever going to find. It
is the quintessential book of the “beat
generation”, a phrase coined by Kerouac himself. The classic has been
read and dog-eared across the globe for over half a century. Now with the help of director Walter Salles
the world gets to go on the road through the safety of your local
Road is the
story of the destructive
but symbiotic friendship between Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) and Dean
(Garrett Hedlund). Sal is the alter ego
of writer Kerouac who writes of his real life experience through 1947
After a debilitating sickness and a breakup, Sal reaches and emotional
point in his early twenties. He now desires more from life. To be
people with passion in their hearts. People that he describes are “mad
live”. This is how he meats Dean. Together with his friend Karlo Marx
girlfriend Marylou (Kirstin Stewart), they embark upon a series of
across America. Travels that will reveal a deeper truth than the one
wanted or expected.
change of any
human from youth to adult is the most pivotal and emotional transition
lifetime. Of the main actors cast to
portray this, Sam Riley really is quite believable as Sal.
His performance is quiet yet he manages to
ground the piece well. You can see the interest behind his eyes
film and he remains a good choice to play Sal. Kirstin Dunst portrays
who is another open-heart follower of Dean Moriaty. She puts in a
fragile performance, as does Tom Sturridge as Carlo Marx. The film is
let down by Hedlund and Stewart as Dean and Marylou. The two characters
supposed to bring the most fire and unpredictable behavior to the work,
two actors weighed down by the worst of the casting decisions. With
acting history ranging from Twilight to Tron, these two anchor the
piece in MTV
pouting and detract from the fine performances of the entire supporting
With believable work from Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams and Steve Buscemi
lack of ability is even more obvious. They detract from the film in a
typically disappointing way.
Road is shot
on location, adding a beautifully
authentic and rich atmosphere to the piece. The production design is
and detailed. It is a joy to listen to the music played throughout.
enjoyable is the cinematography. The film is shot wide when on the road
closely intimate when the script requires. On
the Road looks marvelous in the cinema and should be experienced
by lovers of the book and cinema alike. Salles direction is tight and
storyline keeps to the book in wise fashion. All this does over ride
casting decisions, but it is unfortunate that it even has to. Such a
story is bigger than the time period it is shot in, and the film would
benefited greatly from the casting of unknown actors.
of the book and
the time period will love On the Road.
It’s a film with an enticing beating heart and a lovely visual palette.
relaxed pace at which the piece is directed while still obtaining a
undercurrent of emotions at play, are the strongest factors of the
in a lovely way is also keeping accurate to the experience of reading
book. On the Road is a slow, emotional and beautifully made
entirely perfect but well worth the trip.