The cinematic release of On The Road travels the highway of disappointment. Director Walter Salles takes a literary masterpiece and turns it in to one of the most boring, disjointed films of 2013 so far. Actually, the film was released in 2012 in some parts, but has been making its rounds on the art house circuit to little acclaim. Fans of the book will be deeply saddened that a great piece of literature does not always make for good cinema. I don't place all the blame on Salles himself. The literary version On The Road is loved by many, but this adaptation does absolutely no justice to this classic story.
The film struggles to ever maintain focus as we're taken from back road to big city time and time again, while never getting a sense for who these characters are. There is no care taken in representing these people as artistic individuals leading an alternate lifestyle. We're allowed in to their lives, but are never given any true sense of who these people are and where exactly they're headed. The portrayal of these famous characters is void of any human quality or real emotion. Surprisingly enough, Kristen Stewart is the stand out as the sexually charged Marylou. Imagine that.
I truly wanted to like this movie but absolutely struggled to make it through. I didn't expect it to move at a fast pace, but definitely would have liked more in the character arc department. The movie definitely captures the era well with it's attention to costume and set design. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to pull me out of the the dark and dirty alley of boredom. By the end, I was ready to pick up a drug habit and an easy Kristen Stewart lookalike. Almost anything would be better than this sad sad journey On The Road.
I'm rating this film a 3 out of 5 due to it's attention to era specific detail.