On The Road (dir. Walter Salles, 2012) – Young writer Sal Paradise begins his life on the road, sparked by the carefree spirits of his new friend Dean Moriarty.
Though well-produced and acted, this dry adaptation fails to grasp the life in Jack Kerouac’s words and the vibrancy of his characters.
I first read On The Road in secondary school. Back then, I found Jack Kerouac’s words most alluring in his cadence. The eloquent author left a mark with such vivid, instinctive dialogues that flow with such energy, life and heart. More than a story, the novel is a rare invitation to a drifter’s vast world and a free spirit’s winding journey.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
– On The Road, Jack Kerouac
So when I heard about a new movie adaptation, I was excited. The tone seemed on the right track as Sam Riley’s narration rasps over its trailer along the verve of the beat. After a long wait, the DVDs hit the shelves and sadly failed to match my expectations.