Based on Jack Kerouac’s book of the same name, On the Road is a love letter to the Beat generation of the late 1940’s of which Kerouac himself was a founding member. The plot follows various road trips and eventful days in the lives of several young Americans in the late 1940s as they experiment with drugs and sex and attempt to find meaning in the world and their own lives. The central character Sal Paradise (based on Kerouac – Sam Riley) is a young writer in need of inspiration who meets Dean Moriarty, a wild and carefree man for whom everyone and everything should be explored and or fucked. The two embark on several road trips and meet some strange and interesting people along the way.
Although I initially liked the look of the trailer for On the Road and was aware of the Kerouac novel, it was a film I didn’t get around to seeing in the cinema. Now I’ve seen it I think I made the right choice although overall I’m glad I saw the movie. The film has a terrific atmosphere of youthful energy, opportunity and freedom which is expressed through the music, sex and adventure of its young characters and to be honest I was jealous of their lives. Problems lie in the length of the movie and slow pacing which doesn’t match the exuberance of the plot. The acting is also very mixed but following the film I wanted to discover more about the Beat generation and its characters and beliefs.