Review: On the Road

 

n a cold and rainy day in Moscow with
five hours to kill I was driven to the cinema.
When my flick of choice Time Loop
turned out to be dubbed into Russian I settled
for the merely subtitled On The Road. I wasn’t
expecting much: the trailer was uninspiring
and I was worried about what funny colours
and weird angles could do to an already
‘trendy’ book.
But it was good. Both Sam Riley and Garrett
Hedlund nail it as the homoerotic blood brothers
Sal and Dean, with Tom Sturridge brilliant
as the most comically pretentious of the musketeers,
Carlos. Predictably K-Stew, Dean’s sixteen-
year-old wife Mary Lou, is nothing to write
home about. The only discernible difference
between Mary Lou and Bella Swan is that the
former’s hair is a few shades lighter – the face,
like a slapped arse, hangs tough. You
do slightly wonder where
she gets all her changes
of clothes, and urban outfitters
sunglasses,
whilst on a pretty
dirty roadtrip. In
contrast, Kirsten
Dunst manages
to make Camille,
Dean’s second wife,
the most engaging and
believable character. Excellent,
unexpected performances
come from
Viggo Mortensen and
Amy Adams as a drug-addled
couple the roadsters
spend a few days with.
The only things I have
seen Amy Adams in are Enchanted and Julie &
Julia so it was fun to see her all wild haired and
cracked out on benzedrine. Steve Buscemi is
also great – when isn’t he great? – as the pervy
driver who pays Dean for sex.
Whilst I often found the book too scatty
and grotesque to really love it, it film is easy
to watch and, aside from a severed toe here
and there, aesthetically pleasing. It’s nice that
they’ve coupled that with a roadtrip that’s not
excessively glamorised- they all look dirty,
have to steal their food and ‘gaaas’- and some
people just look great with smudges on their
face.
Die hard Kerouacers will probably have a
lot of negative things to say about the adaptation,
but for someone who finds the book more
than little tiring and self-conscious, the film is
a pleasant surprise. Sex, drugs and Sam Riley –
what more do you want?

On a cold and rainy day in Moscow with five hours to kill I was driven to the cinema. When my flick of choice, Time Loop, turned out to be dubbed into Russian I settled for the merely subtitled On The Road. I wasn’t expecting much: the trailer was uninspiring and I was worried about what funny colours and weird angles could do to an already ‘trendy’ book.

Related  Review: Simon Jay

But it was good. Both Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund nail it as the homoerotic blood brothers Sal and Dean, with Tom Sturridge brilliant as the most comically pretentious of the musketeers, Carlos. Predictably K-Stew, Dean’s sixteen-year-old wife Mary Lou, is nothing to write home about. The only discernible difference between Mary Lou and Bella Swan is that the former’s hair is a few shades lighter – the face, like a slapped arse, hangs tough. You do slightly wonder where she gets all her changes of clothes and Urban Outfitters sunglasses,whilst on a pretty dirty road trip.

In contrast, Kirsten Dunst manages to make Camille, Dean’s second wife, the most engaging and believable character. Excellent, unexpected performances come from Viggo Mortensen and Amy Adams as a drug-addled couple the roadsters spend a few days with.The only things I have seen Amy Adams in are Enchanted and Julie & Julia so it was fun to see her all wild haired and cracked out on benzedrine. Steve Buscemi is also great – when isn’t he great? – as the pervy driver who pays Dean for sex.

Whilst I often found the book too scatty and grotesque to really love it, the film is easy to watch and, aside from a severed toe here and there, aesthetically pleasing. It’s nice that they’ve coupled that with a roadtrip that’s not excessively glamourised – they all look dirty, have to steal their food and ‘gaaas’- and some people just look great with smudges on their face. Die hard Kerouacers will probably have a lot of negative things to say about the adaptation, but for someone who finds the book more than little tiring and self-conscious, the film is a pleasant surprise. Sex, drugs and Sam Riley -what more do you want?