On The Road

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At long last, celebrated beat writer Jack Kerouac’s groundbreaking 1957 novel about American youth and the search for freedom has become a film, directed by Walter Salles and written by José Rivera, who together also brought us another unforgettable road movie, The Motorcycle DiariesOn the Road tells the story of Kerouac stand-in/narrator Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), an aspiring New York writer, and Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), a dangerously charming ex-con modeled after Kerouac’s real-life friend Neal Cassidy. Sal and Dean bond instantly upon meeting. Determined not to get locked into a constricted life, the two rebellious friends cut their ties and take to the road in a beat up jalopy with Dean’s very liberated and seductive wife, Marylou (Kristen Stewart) in tow, with all the time in the world to explore variously hedonistic states of ecstasy. Thirsting for freedom, the three young people head off in search of the world, of other encounters, and of themselves, ready to “burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…” (Dir. by Walter Salles, 2012, USA, 124 mins., Rated R, IFC Films) Digital