Jack Kerouac’s 50′s beat novel On the Road is coming to theaters. The movie, directed by Walter Salles, was a hit at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival (held in Cannes, France). It tells the tale of Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) who hits the road with fellow free soul Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) in search of something different, something new, something right.
The journey is predominantly that of Sal and Dean, but many other misfits join the adventure. Kristin Stewart plays Marylou, Dean’s 16-year-old wife. Other notables are Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Kirstin Dunst, Elisabeth Moss, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, and Alice Braga.
The trailer promises both good times and bad and it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot of melancholy along with all the partying. We see Sal alternate between being optimistic and excited and feeling trapped in his choices. It’s ultimately a quest of identity. Sal is attracted to charismatic Dean’s wild lifestyle, but is perhaps unprepared for the consequences.
It’s got a stunning cast and a lot of emotion behind it, but will it fully deliver Kerouac’s masterpiece? It’s a tough job to tackle. Not only does Kerouac’s book show some iconic figures (“Sal” is a representation of Kerouac himself, Dean is Neal Cassady, Mortensen’s character is William Burroughs), it’s also important in a cultural context. Many view On the Road as a guidebook of the 1950s “Beat Movement” — basically young Americans trying to find answers in a confused world. Will Salles’ movie reproduction be able to harness that context? Check out the preview and tell us what you think in the comments.
On The Road is directed by Walter Salles and based on the book by Jack Kerouac. It will hit UK theaters on October 12 and US theaters December 21.