Young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.
Shaken by the death of his father and discouraged by his stalled career, writer Sal Paradise goes on a road trip hoping for inspiration. While traveling, he is befriended by charismatic and fearless Dean Moriarty and Moriarty's free-spirited and seductive young wife, Marylou. Traveling across the American southwest together, they strive to break from conformity and and search the unknown, and their decisions change the very course of their lives.Written by
Before filming began, director Walter Salles had the cast do a three week 'beatnik boot camp'. Kristen Stewart described it as three weeks of nothing but literature about the beatnik generation and listening to audio interviews from Jack Kerouac. See more »
Set in 1949, but the characters ride in a 1950 Hudson. See more »
The film was re-edited for North American release following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and its French theatrical release because, according to director Walter Salles, that version was "rushed". The new cut is thirteen minutes shorter but contains more scenes and Salles says he has no preference between the two. See more »
It's Not bad, Considering How Hard an Adaptation it is
Hemingway was terrified of being boring. Compared to Hemingway, Kerouac was completely & utterly fearless.
So let's take a page out one of Kerouac's best books, start at the beginning, & let the truth seep out.
I first encountered "On the Road" in the public library when I was in 6th grade. It spawned a fascination, an obsession, an addiction. Between the age of 12 & 18, outside of school, the Beat writers were all that I read. I devoured them. And in the years since my youth Kerouac has morphed from an obsession to a comfort author, I read him to help cushion the blows life brings. "Maggie Cassidy," is still my favorite.
That being said, I walked into this flick with extremely low expectations. I'm more than familiar with the source material & couldn't see how it could translate into anything but a dull film. I expected the film to stagnate. I wasn't really disappointed in this. Anyone that has read "On the Road" has to question the wisdom of attempting to translate that into a decent movie.
Like the novel, there are parts of this film you just have to fight through in the hopes that he'll move off his love for grape picking & into something interesting again.
The plus side is, once you make it past the stagnation, the plot picks up again & you feel the sense of freedom having overcome the monotony of Kerouac. But on the other-hand, I'm fairly certain that's the point.
The bottom line is that if you are familiar with Travelin' Jack you know what to expect before you walk into the film & you walk out with an experience far better than you would have thought it's be. It's an enjoyable film.
However, if you're like most of the world & for some reason do not read, you'll be expecting the legend without understanding the reality & you will hate it, for no other reason than the lack of background necessary to expect Kerouac to be, well, Kerouac.
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