Whether you’ve long-anticipated the day that Kerouac’s memoir-esque novel, “On the Road,” arrived in theaters or you’re of the argument that the book was meant to inspire the individual’s soul, rather than serve as artistic interpretation for the mainstream audience, from the look of this trailer, it seems we may all be in for a beatific, cinematic treat this summer.
If you’re interested in travel tales, cinematic journeys, friendship stories, road trips, psychedelic trips, the 1950s, how nudity and poverty go hand in hand, late-night jazz and/or youthful freedoms and wild adventures exposed, mark this film on your calendar because it appears to have it all, and more.
Directed by Walter Salles — who’s most recognized for the visionary excellence of his 2004 film “The Motorcycle Diaries,” based on the journey and memoir of a young, iconic, Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara — “On the Road” follows the Kerouac-based narrator Sal Paradise (played by Sam Riley) as he traverses across America, moving to the beat of his own half-baked strum with pal Dean Moriarty, whose character is based on Beat Generation poet Neal Cassady (played by Garret Hedlund of TRON: Legacy).
The story of their adventures, however, isn’t simply about day-tripping across the country from New York to New Orleans to San Francisco (especially since much of it was filmed in Canada), but if the movie does the book any justice, it’ll also give light to the interlinking relationships between Sal and Dean and the women in their lives.
The film also stars Kristen Stewart of the Twilight trilogy as Moriarty’s first wife and travel partner Marylou, Kirsten Dunst as Moriarty’s devoted second wife and mother of his children, Viggo Mortensen as Old Bull Lee (aka author William S. Burroughs) and Amy Adams as his wife Jane Lee, Terrence Howard as a jazz musician, and Tom Sturridge as the literary version of author Allen Ginsberg, who goes by the name of Carlo Marx for the sake of fiction.
Set to premiere at Cannes Film Festival in France on May 23, “On the Road” is also produced by the “Godfather” of films himself, Francis Ford Coppola.
“Because 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 and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’”