Sundance Review: 'Kill Your Darlings' Illuminates An Uncovered Corner Of Beat Generation History With Mixed Results

When any filmmaker decides to chronicle a largely undocumented or unknown corner of history revolving around famous cultural figures, a question that can raise its head is: what's underneath the surface that compels the director to make the story? In the case of the “Kill Your Darlings" ("Beat Generation: First Class" would be also be an apt title), the impetus for telling this story could be to illuminate the Beats in their formative years, diving into their impulses and drive. The emotional core could be to elucidate the loves and friendships within this libertine circle and the spiritual center could be to reveal how these ordinary young men became extraordinary. But as a friendship and coming-of-age tale mixed in with a bit of a murder mystery, "Kill Your Darlings" doesn't really humanize these characters beyond half-drawn caricatures in an origin tale that wouldn't be out of place in an average super hero film.
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