Hit the road, Jack (Kerouac)

Cinema review in collaboration with Fanny Louvier, for City University London, Department of Journalism

Forty years after Jack Kerouac’s beat generation bible On the road was released, it is set on screen. But is the spirit still alive ?
Many famous directors have tried adapting the so-called unadaptable novel and have been defeated by the enormity of the task. On the road encapsulates the dangerous gap between book and film.
Director Walter Salles has surrounded himself with an impressive cast. Sam Riley as the writer Sal Paradise, and the sulfurous Garrett Hedlund, who completely inhabits Dean Moriarty, depict the perfect ambiguous alchemy between the two companions. Stuck in the middle of this male tension, Kristen Stewart, back from the cold embraces of Twilight‘s vampires, shines in her hot-chick part of Marylou, Dean’s underage wife.
One mindblowing landscape follows the other in this vintage postcard-style photography, leaving the 70s-generational deep angst far behind.
Inconditional fans of Kerouac’s prose may be disappointed by this Hollywoodian adaptation, which prefers sex, fuel and Benzedrine to the quest of the remaining truth through a schyzophrenic America.

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