After reading On The Road by Jack Kerouac countless times, this film was on the top of my viewing list since it was announced. Surviving numerous setbacks, budget cuts, and shaky reviews out of Cannes, On The Road had its North American debut at TIFF and I was in attendance. Directed by Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) and leading an all star cast is Sam Riley (13), Garrett Hedlund (Tron), and the magnificent Kristen Stewart (Adventureland). Stewart accepted salary cuts in her devotion to the novel and film when the budget was cut. Hedlund and Riley both have highly anticipated films slated for 2013. RIley is staring in Byzantium while Hedlund is prime for stardom assisting the Coen brothers in their new film, Inside Llewyn Davis.
Sal Paradise (Riley) is a struggling young writer in the heart of the beat generation in America. Paradise, who’s father has recently died, has his outlook drastically changed when he meets Dean Moriarty (Hedlund). Dean is an out of control, can’t be held down life enthusiast who just married a young woman named Marylou (Stewart). Sal, Marylou, and Dean travel across the United States with no direction and little to no money. On Their journey, relationships are forged, laws broken, and their lives changed forever.
On The Road is the novel I feel everyone must read in their lives at least once. After watching this film, I feel the same way about it. If you miss out on the intoxicating drug that is On The Road, both film and novel, you are not complete. On The Road is the classic tale of a group of young outcasts and their struggles growing up while also coming to terms with maturity. The cast chosen fit the roles perfectly, especially Hedlund and Stewart. Stewart gives one of the best acting performances of 2012 while Hedlund doesn’t miss a step in capturing the essence of Dean. Not to be forgotten is Sam Riley who flourishes in his role as the unconventional Jack Kerouac. I don’t think their was anyone better to take the reigns on this film other than Walter. Salles combines the atmospheric visuals and boundless freedom each character possesses and translates it to the screen. On The Road was once thought to never make it to the big screen, but Salles and the cast have done exactly that in spectacular fashion.
On The Road: 9 out of 10.