Notwithstanding the characters’ spiritual camaraderie, Salles’ emphasizes the hard physical labor and loneliness in Sal’s story, including the jittery rigors of the writing process. When he reaches a crossroads choice between down-and-out Dean and his own rising career, Sal senses that except for the words on a typewritten scroll, his life on the road is gone, real gone.
First I have to say I am not in any means a writer, I tend to be prolix and get lost in side thoughts. The language is also a problem... If put thoughts in words is difficult, you can imagine how difficult is to put it in other language than your native one. So...
I read a lot about it, saw a lot of interviews, articles and critics of the book and the movie (mostly French, some aussie and American). When the Brazilians articles, interviews and movie critics started come out I got very happy to see another tone. A more positive tone and a sense that Walter had done something very intimated, very raw, very human, not a adaptation but a personal view... But some still talking that he still did not made the movie stand by itself.
So I went to the movie with a mind open and waiting for the excellency that is traditionally Walter's works.
I didn't feel the movie long or boring at all... The close shots and the open views are both incredibly good. Walter did an amazing job getting subtitle details that show and say more than words with handheld shots.
The movie is not about "On The Road The book" and also it is not about "On The Road The scroll version book", it is Walter Salles vision of be youth and everything that it brings to the scene. The selfishness, the craziness, the curiosity for the unknown, the anxiety to put out all you are feeling and share it with others, the feeling that you need to do something but you don't know what, the desire of be different, of do something that makes difference, the desire of be creative, the desire of taste and prove all at the same time. Some are followers, some open roads. All of it brings happiness, friendship, auto-affirmation but angst, pain, deception, feeling of failure. Walter talks essential about the human condition of the after WWII young generation that saw all the reactionary values be destroyed by the war and they went out just asking questions, tasting and living each moment as it would be the last one. A highly creative time in poetry, paint, and music! In the end he showed that it is a period in our lives and it pass and you have to get along with it, if not, if you get stuck and don't grow, you will be left behind. It is life!
The movie is an intense character driven movie, based on the scroll version, as well the biographies, interviews, tapes, 5 years of making documentary, books, musics, paints... but just based... because it is clear that he, Riveras and the actors deconstructed all and improvised mostly all! Most have being said about Garrett acting and Kristen's also but all the cast is amazing. Sam Riley was a huge surprise for me! He got me since the first second of the movie and it was him that I followed until the end! Tom did an amazing job!!! Never had seen him in anything before and man... He has gotten my attention now! Alice, Viggo, Elizabeth, Amy, Kirsten were incredible! Their moments are lessons of work of the art of acting! Garrett is really incredible! Of course his character is the one who gives the actor the most chance to show his chops but he took the chance and brought it on! His Dean is everything Walter wanted to transmit in his vision of Youth and The Beats. In some moments he seems hypnotized in a tranzy. Now... Kristen! Kristen disappeared! The only WOMAN in the silver screen was Marylou! She got the voice tone, she got the moves... I have to be honest with you guys... I was very disturbed by that actress who was soooo open and sexual! I was not expecting at all this feeling! It was like see a daughter... It was very disturbing... I could not recognized that woman! I think it is the most huge compliment I could give to her! She really became something that I could not see any trace of her! She really brought Lu Anne to the screen and show that Lu Annes was the most of them who lived the Beat spirit! She was not there following the men, she was there on her own therms. A free spirit, without preconception or fear or angst but just curious and living! She was doing what she wanted and the moment she decided she was done with that period of her life, she said I done, it is not the future that I want and left. Kristen's improvisation on that scene in the car that Walter talks about a lot is really amazing! Outstanding!
I don't agree with the critics that say it is long. It is not! Is it sometimes episodic? Yes it is, but every one of the scenes had to be there, because it was in the book and these characters had a huge importance on the Beat Generation. Forget all you have read, because it is Walter's vision and its sustained by its self as a piece of work! It is very beautiful, amazingly acted, shows human reactions, deceptions, angsty, dreams, happiness, pain, friendship, creativity, beauty, colour, tones! Shows a moment in history but most of all shows the real people on who was based the characters. Full of life and creativity but selfish and in-consequent!
Stewart, selected for Marylou five years ago on the basis of her striking debut in "Into the Wild," is perfect in the role, takes off her clothes more than once and nearly always seems to be breaking a sweat, which kicks the sexiness quotient up high.
The lack of a strong expository voice further simplifies the wealth of explicit sex Walter Salles dramatizes, much of it drawn from juicy swathes of Jack Kerouac's only recently published original scroll.
On the Road does, ultimately, have a touching kind of sadness in showing how poor Dean is becoming just raw material for fiction, destined to be left behind as Sal becomes a New York big-shot. But this real sadness can't pierce or dissipate this movie's tiresome glow of self-congratulation.
I don't know the original book so I can't say how respectful the adaptation is, but the story of an aspiring writer and his search for himself, with all its ups and downs, deserves a chance, if you're not in a very demanding mood. .
Walter Salle’s and Rivera’s adaptation of Kerouac’s classic novel is a brave attempt. Between its documentary feel and young and often naked actors, this film reeks of both the cool and freedom that was brought forth by the beats. Unfortunately it lacks their impact. On the Road fails due to it’s inability to stand alone without the stories pre-developed reputation and fan base...
To read more visit: ****/filmtv/on-the-road-the-beats-brought-back/
In this adaptation of Kerouac's novel, a young author travels America on writing adventures, while obsessing about his best friend/muse, Dean Moriarty. Thanks to Moriarty, he enjoys cross-country exploits fueled with drugs, alcohol and sex in all combos. While the performances and the pace keep it interesting, the narrative rambles all over the place (just like the characters). There's not an emotional arc or any involving drama until the final few moments, but by that time, 4 people had walked out of my screening. If you want to see what wild times were like 1947 51 and see how they portray notable literary characters (Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, etc with some notable actors) you may find it interesting.
Some of the cinematography is worthwhile, bits of acting are noteworthy but, in the end, it's a book you can't really make into a film.
What would be shocking and extraordinary in the late 50's now looks fairly tame and often sad. there is a lack of rhythm to the editing, too many unconnected ideas, big, sprawling and dull.
If they had tried for something smaller, maybe it might have worked.
Jerry Leider Company,
France 2 Cinéma,