Thursday, January 03, 2013

Kerouac’s “On the Road” is one of my favorite books, so yesterday I risked an outing in the cold to see the new movie version. I am happy to report that the film is totally, completely, gloriously unfaithful to the book. 

So what? Who expected that “West Side Story” would be faithful to “Romeo and Juliet”? Instead of following the roady premise of the book, the narrative is a jumble of various episodes in Kerouac’s life. At the center, of course is the bromance between Sal Paradise (Kerouac) and Dean Moriarty (Cassady). Dean is a heel of the first order, but the superhunk Garrett Hedlund pulls you into his spell, as the character is supposed to. 

Many of the lines are quotations from the books, and the actors recite them as if they were incantations from an unknown religion (which maybe they are), We see various painful episodes of Sal trying to write, clutching a tattered copy of “Swann’s Way” here and there throughout. 

Go and see the movie before they take it down. It’s really a hoot!


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