The new small screen adaptation of author Jack Kerouac’s legendary novel, On The Road, is a work that any fan of the man’s work will appreciate. It will also appeal to college age audiences because of its story of self-discovery and discovering the meaning of life. Those that are not so familiar with his work are far more likely to not be fans of the movie. However, those that are more open minded may be at least somewhat more open to the movie.
On The Road’s narrative style is nothing new to moviemaking. But it works quite well with the novel on which it is based. It doesn’t overpower the overall story. Rather, Sal Paradise’s occasional narration helps to serve as a tool to help advance the story through each chapter. And his final moment of enlightenment at the story’s end that led to him furiously typing away at his typewriter drove home quite well the two-hour journey experienced by Sal and his friends (played by Kristen Stewart and company). The journey embarked upon by the story’s characters is enlightening for those open minded enough to experience it with them. Even for those that are open minded enough, the story’s sexual content might be a little bit unsettling. The groups cross country journey of self-discovery and search for the meaning of life leads to lots and lots of sex. Some of it straight, some of it not so straight. But there is a lot of it. In connection, there is also a certain amount of nudity, thus the movie’s “R” rating.
The sex and everything else tied into this adaptation of Kerouac’s book definitely make this a niche film. To its defense though, so much can be said of the movie’s cinematography. As the group of friends makes its way across the country in its journey, it crosses through so many different areas. The wide shots of the different areas through which the friends travel are stunning. And even lesser scenes such as when the stops made along the way offer their own extra touch to the overall presentation. Whether in those shots, or others such as tight, confined apartments or the others that make up the movie, those behind the cameras did their jobs with full professionalism. If for no other reason than the camera work, this most recent adaptation of On The Road is worth at least one watch. That’s not to say that the movie’s writing or the cast’s acting were any less. But the cinematography stood out more than any other factor in this movie. On The Road is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.
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