'On The Road' Opens To Mixed Reviews
It was one of the most revered and respected tomes from the beat-era of the 1950s and 1960s, so it's no surprise that a film remake of it was going to be getting some particularly harsh scrutiny. Nevertheless, IFC Films will be a little worried about the reception that it has got, with reviewers seeming to fall on either side of the fence.
The Daily Telegraph are loving it. "[Garrett Hedlund] is a gritty revelation, desperate and magnetic." They say of the leading actor. "Dean's constant need for sex is understood as a sign of damage, part of the same compulsion that sends him all over America, bouncing between wives." Empire Magazine too are full of plaudits for it; "A decent, well-cast and mounted adaptation that hits all the right notes but plays them in a respectful, muted monotone" they say.
The New York Times though don't think that the film goes far enough. "Salles, an intelligent director whose films include "The Motorcycle Diaries," doesn't invest "On the Road" with the wildness it needs for its visual style, narrative approach and leads" they say. Variety are similarly unimpressed, saying "Despite the high level of craft here, it's an inadequate substitute for the thrilling, sustaining intelligence of Kerouac's voice." One saving grace for the studios is that the book of 'On The Road', written by Jack Kerouac, caused similar division when it was released back in 1957.