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After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life.
Shaken by the death of his father and discouraged by his stalled career, writer Sal Paradise goes on a road trip hoping for inspiration. While traveling, he is befriended by charismatic and fearless Dean Moriarty and Moriarty's free-spirited and seductive young wife, Marylou. Traveling across the American southwest together, they strive to break from conformity and and search the unknown, and their decisions change the very course of their lives. Written by
Booze, dope, girls, jazz, speeding and shoplifting
Here's a confession: I've read the novel by Kerouac twice, but wasn't rally impressed. I could appreciate the sense of freedom and endless opportunities, and the effect this must have had on the generation of the fifties and sixties, but I also found the story tedious after the first few chapters.
So I was curious about the movie: would Walter Salles be able to turn this legendary but rather monotonous novel into a good film? The answer, unfortunately is: no. In short, the films shows a bunch of young people enjoying booze, dope, girls, jazz, speeding and shoplifting. They go from one city to another, but it doesn't really matter: wherever they are, they do the same things. After the first hour, you start to hope for some story development, but there is none. This is especially annoying because the movie goes on for more than two hours. In the end, it's just a repetition of the same themes in different settings.
The film follows the book rather scrupulously, and I think this is a wrong choice. The book needs more adaptation to make it suitable for the big screen. More than anything else, it needs a plot.
Of course, there are also positive things about the movie. It's a nice period film about the forties. The acting is fine, with good performances by Twilight-famed Kristen Stewart and especially Garrett Hedlund, a lesser known actor who could be quite a revelation.
This film will certainly not become as legendary in cinematography as the book has become in literature. But then again, that's almost impossible.
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