|On the Road, Official Pinterest|
Last night we decided to cap off the long weekend by going to see a film. We were lucky that the Dendy cinemas were showing On the Road. I had been looking forward to seeing this film adaptation as I had read much about it on the interwebs.
I read Jack Kerouac's famed novel a few years ago, but many of the characters and happenings were still quite fresh in my mind before going to the film last night, so I was nervous that I would be disappointed. Mr Canbella had not read the novel (quelle horreur!) so he had no such concerns. We were both looking forward to seeing Sam Riley in action as we both loved him in Control.
The film is directed by Walter Salles who, most notably, directed the wonderful film The Motorcycle Diaries which I have watched and enjoyed many times. You can see the thread of visual and conceptual thought extending from The Motorcycle Diaries through to On the Road. Most obviously, both are road movies, but also they follow the journey of a young man becoming something great, focusing on the experiences that make him such.
On the Road is beautifully realised, with wonderful atmosphere created throughout. At times, it seemed to move through and past events too speedily for my liking, although I must admit that this is a price that must be paid when adapting a novel to film. I do think that the desperate, languid, waiting feeling that I felt in many parts of the book was missing as the film sprinted forward through plot points. And most of the sex scenes seemed far to visceral to me, as in the novel I felt that they were much more about Sal's reaction to the action, rather than the action itself. In the film it became about your own reaction to the sexual goings on, with much of it played for titillation and sensation, I think it really lacked the depth of the novel (of course).
The performances in this film are great. Most of the actors are very recognisable but they all completely become their characters, including Sam Riley who takes you along on his journey as Sal. I found his voice work, particularly in the voice overs, really drew me into the character and the story.
At 1 hour 37 minutes the film is quite long, but it really squeezes in the action so you never feel it has stagnated. I enjoyed the journey and definitely recommend you see it for yourself!