on the road
just finished watching On The Road. it was a film I was pretty worried about, worried they'd mess it up, but more importantly worried they'd make it something its not. when I saw Kirsten dunst and the twighlight girl on the cast list I really just expected to see this years next big fad.. was getting ready to see the 16 year olds out in force with their on the road hoodies and happy meals. watching it though, you quickly realise that its a more mature film than to fall to that.
once I realised 'okay this isn't just some blockbuster', I found it interesting to watch. interesting because you know this is someone's, or a group of peoples (the director, DOP, actors, tea lady's) 100% vision of how they saw the book in their head. that was a really cool thing to feel, like someone else telling you what they thought was so great about the book. watching it feels real strange.. actually seeing the characters there on screen is kinda like looking at a cariature. not the acting, I just literally mean seeing these people in the flesh.
I guess ultimately the fault of the film wasn't its own fault at all but that of the medium of film. I think actually seeing Dean Moriarty in the flesh, going from scene to scene restricts that character to what you see of them. the great thing with reading something is it fitting your own mental interpretation, own built up series of feelings and the way you see things. books are objective rather than subjective. having it as concrete on film stiffens it, no longer loose fit. also, much like animation, jk caricatured Dean with his writing, having him shoot from key pose to key pose, what falls between, the reader fills in themselves. this is, by default, lost somewhat in a film. also, is harder to agree with a film.. a book, you head it, they tell you what they felt, but you hear it in your own voice, so eg, the bit when the three of them are in bed together.. you don't read it in disgust, you read it with beauty in mind because that's what keruoac says, he says beauty so you think of beauty. film, were naturally more likely to object. Same with Old Bull Lee.. seeing him lying in a chair with a child in his arms and heroin tracks up his arm isn't nice, but hearing Kerouac's description in the book of children running free in the garden you understand. I guess you look at it less two dimensionally when reading it.
There was more sex in it than I remember in the book too.. oh and my final niggle.. this is just a silly thing.. the guy playing Dean I think was too good looking for the role. I always picture Dean as ugly but beuatiful, like beautiful behind the eyes you know? I think this would have been a good thing to portray on screen.. we often see the reverse (beautiful people who are ugly inside).
anywho, I guess the truth we've all known all along is that the book isn't film material, and its true. I think someone who hasn't read the book wouldnt enjoy the film, although i can't comment as I probably enjoyed it mainly for its iterations of things I have imagined. I think it went someway to capturing the book, how it was montaged, a lot of beauty in the shots. my verdict would be, if you love the book, don't be worried about watching it, to me, its just like hearing your mate tell you about the book and moments in it. im very glad its not a blockbuster. I'm interested to know what people who haven't read the book think of it.
sorry for any typos written hastily on a touchscreen