Rainer's Review of On the Road
On the Road(2012)
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"
This quote sums up quite perfectly what I liked about Walter Salles' adaptation of the famous Jack Kerouac novel (which, to make that already clear at the beginning, I haven't read, but certainly will after seeing this magnificent film).
Spoken by the wonderful Sam Riley, who arguably should be a bigger star than he is, in one of the cooler performances of the year, his rusty voice gives the quote yet another even greater dimension.
Beside the gorgeous cinematography and Salles' knack for road movies (we've seen this in his The Motorcycle Diaries) I most loved the voice-over narration where Sam Riley uses Kerouac's perfectly poetic lines to anchor this weird and disjointed story.
I also found the acting quite good. Riley, well I just love him, Hetlund was surprisingly good, and even Stewart wasn't as bad as the press she gets. We also see such fine actors like Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Amy Adams in smaller supporting roles - I can definitely live with that.
The film of course is an adaptation of one of the most notorious unfilmable pieces of literature ever. Thus, On the Road is a disconnected narrative failure, that often just ends abruptly at some point and begins at another time and place. You can't really blame that on the film but you maybe ask yourself why it was made in the first place... but, as we all know, Hollywood moves in mysterious ways...
Anyways, for many, On the Road will only remain as the film Kristen Stewart shows tits and that's ok so. Her Marylou just seem to scream "I'm not Bella!!" but we've seen similar from teen actors trying to get some respect.
There's actually an abundance of very explicit scenes in the movie - most of them feature Stewart, and Hetlund's Dean Moriarty almost always answers the door nude (in medium shots of course... It's Hollywood after all).
Maybe, I'll hate the film as much as the people who've read the book and told me that it's so much superior - I'll decide in time, until then it's a solid 80%.