Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Road Rage: A Persnickety Analysis of: On The Road

 This film screened earlier today in the competition at Cannes, and I for one found it one of the worst things that's ever happened in the world of Cinema, that's ever. John Ford, Orson Welles, and D.W. Griffith should like form a ghostly coalition of the willing and beat Walter Salles to a bloody pulp. If I could punch this film in the face I would do it. But instead, I'm making a corn husk doll of Kristen Stewart and punching that in the face. It's healing some of the wounds.
First thing's first. Do not adapt Kerouac in the 21st century. Why the hell did you wait so long to where it's not even remotely relevant anymore. Who in their right minds could give two fucks about some hipster without a job meandering around, having pretentiously mediocre thoughts about the uselessness of existence whilst drinking and smoking a lot. Because, that's all the film is! I understand that that's what Kerouac wrote about, but it's considered 'unadaptable' for a reason. You can't just do that to your film audience i.e. have nothing happen for two and a half hours whilst people philosophize about said nothing in the voice over. Kerouac is dead folks. Oh and by the way, he died because his liver exploded from drinking so much. 
This brings me to my second point; it's a pet peeve of mine when people are shown CONSTANTLY drinking and doing drugs, but no one ever seems to get high or drunk, it's like I know you're in your early 20's but if you ingest that much Benzedrine and that much Vodka at the same time, I'm dropping your comatose ass off at the emergency room and making a quick getaway.
Neal Cassady on the left with Jack Kerouac on the right, the inspirations behind Dean and Sal in On the Road. Did I mention both died before they were 35? from alcoholism? Oh I did? well doesn't hurt repeating.
Point three. No one in our generation, who's never 'burned burned burned with the fire of a Roman candle' but plays 'Draw Something', talks to Siri like she's an actual person, and blogs blogs blogs all day long gives two fucks about the beat generation. That shit burn burn burned out real fast, and it's not even nostalgic anymore. It's taking us to a place none of us want to be, and around people none of us would be friends with. You're not watching it thinking 'oh these people are really unique and interesting, they have thoughts man, ya dig?' You're sitting there, thinking; 'wow, they are all dirty and useless. Grow up and get a fucking job...and where exactly do they get the money for all this weed?'
'Oh look at me with my silk blouse rocking out to spontaneous jazz medleys. I am soooooo of the period and don't stick out at all'
Point four. Casting. What the fuck were you thinking? Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty? He looks like the moron jock from every 80's movie. Sam Riley as Sal Paradise (who is just an avatar for Kerouac himself) gets a pass. But Kristen fucking Stewart as child bride Marylou? Are. You. Kidding. Me. She stands out like Winona Ryder in a period costume drama, like totally. She's so not 'of that generation' that it makes me infuriated that everyone is taking her seriously just because she does half of the movie naked. I respectfully disagree! This is worse than Keira Knightley pretending to be a Russian intellectual who likes to get spanked in A Dangerous Method (2011). Ya should have made it back in the early 90's when people still gave two shits about Neal Cassady, Jack Karouac, and reading in general, cast Brad Pitt as Dean, Ethan Hawke as Sal, and Juliette Lewis as Marylou. Sidney Lumet should have directed. Side note, that British dude who's Sienna Miller's baby daddy as Carlo Marx? So bad that it went past good and back to bad again.    
Tom Sturrige as Carlo Marx in one of the many ambiguous posters made for the film, caption reads 'we're alive?' harkening back to a question this motherfucker brings up constantly because he's on too much Benzedrine to disassociate reality from sleepy time. So the answer to your question you pretentious fuck is 'yes...but that can change. go buy a gun'.
Also, stop peppering films with big stars that just want to prove that they read Kerouac and are thereby intellectuals like Steve Buscemi and Viggo Mortensen. You guys are established stars you do not need to associate with such garbage. Also, again, why exactly are you naked? 
If you want to walk out of a movie this year and be like 'hmm, I didn't give any fucks the whole time' then this is a film you should see. I kept rolling my eyes so much I think they started making a noise. Bright spot at the end of the dark tunnel lined with human excrement is that the films about beatniks genre might not be violently dead from massive head wounds which I personally inflict on it quite yet. Kill Your Darlings (2013) with Daniel Radcliffe as Allan Ginsburg actually seems pretty promising. I anxiously await for it to cure the cancer that I got watching this.

Basically, this sums it up beautifully:

"Many have speculated that 'On the Road,' Jack Kerouac's seminal beat novel, is unadaptable for the screen, and Walter Salles' game attempt suggests that this may indeed be the case. Despite its pretty cast and sun-ripened colours, the film quickly settles into a tedious looping rhythm of Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) experiencing some kind of beatnik debauchery with co-wanderers Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) and Marylou (Kristen Stewart), before retiring to a shady corner and scribbling wildly in a notebook. Neither the journey nor the destination seems to matter a jot." — Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

Read the full article here: Cannes 2012 Review of On The Road

Here's another really interesting article called Kerouac retold as 'Bro-Retry'
Every Sentence of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Retold for Bros

Which is basically what this film is. It's a dumb-it-down bro-mance road movie. And it's long as fuck. No pun intended.  

I realize that all I'm doing is making you watch it more, so fine. Here's the trailer. I hope you enjoy contemplating murder-suicide for two and a half hours. 

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