"The comment you type in Disappointing and a little disrespectful. The makers should have decided which story they were telling; On the Road or the story of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. Sal mentions that he speaks French-Canadian (like Jack) but talks to his mother in Italian (like Sal) Also, why mother and not Aunt? Then there is Dean’s overt homosexuality, this side of Dean’s character is only alluded to in the novel. We know that Neal Cassady had numerous homosexual affairs but Kerouac chose to underplay this in the character of Dean Moriarty. The film makers are letting themselves believe that they know better how to present the character of Dean than Kerouac did; that is disrespectful and arrogant and frankly doesn’t work. When short of money wouldn’t it be more in keeping with Dean’s character to spontaneously steal rather than negotiate cut price rent boy acts?
The film was, as would be expected, beautifully shot and the soundtrack deserves praise as it was always going to be an essential facet of this film. Danny Morgan as Ed Dunkel was good fun, this is the one character in the novel I’ve never been able to envisage. Generally the acting was of a high standard, although Sam Riley’s Sal was a bit too ‘college kid’ for my taste. Kristen Stewart probably deserves the title of show stealer which her excellent depiction of Mary-Lou, a far less significant character in the novel.
If nothing else there is a real effort to move through the jagged plot and an almost successful attempt to capture the energy and spontaneity of the characters’ lives. If just a few people discover the works of Kerouac as a result of this film it will have been a worthwhile endeavour.
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