Welcome to A-Z Movie Reviews. Every Sunday, for the next several months, I will be posting a review of a film in my home movie collection. How it works is, I will be reviewing movies in alphabetical order until I get to the letter Z (Yes, I do have a film that ends in Z). Now I realize there are many ways to alphabetize a film collection, but this is mine so don’t judge me. This is simply for fun.
What it’s about:
Young writer Sal Paradise (Sam Riley) has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) and his girl, Marylou (Kristen Stewart). As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.
Sal (Riley), is an aspiring writer living in New York and he’s struggling to come up with a good story. One night, he and his friend Carlo (Tom Sturridge), who is also an aspiring writer, go out with a friend and are introduced to Dean (Hedlund) and Marylou (Stewart).
His life changes drastically and they introduce him to a world he’s never imagined. Both Dean and Marylou are free spirits and Sal is drawn to both of them; Dean especially. Dean represents a sense of freedom and he’s charismatic and lives his life with no rules. When he invites Sal to hit the road with him, he immediately accepts.
Sal’s been going through major writer’s block and this trip is just the thing he needs to get his creative juices flowing. He doesn’t really get a lot of writing done though, because he and Dean spend a lot of nights out drinking, partying, and getting high. Dean leads a very wild life and Sal is enamored by him but he also knows that he can be manipulative. Dean knows how to talk and the things he says get women, and men to do just about anything he wants.
What’s interesting about On the Road is that every one of the characters are searching for something. Marylou, wants a normal life that isn’t on the road. She loves Dean but she’s let him use her for so long and she knows they don’t have a real future which is what she wants in the end. Sal, is trying to come up with inspiration to write a good story. Dean, though he exudes a tremendous amount of confidence, is actually quite lost. He’s searching for his father and also seeking a brotherly connection.
He finds that connection in Dean but, he takes advantage of him like he has with everyone else that has come into his life. Sal realizes this and ultimately has to do what’s right for him and move on.
- I LOVE Garrett Hedlund and he’s amazing in everything I’ve see him in.
- Garrett Hedlund has a lovely derriere and I never get tired of seeing it onscreen (see Four Brothers)
- Fun Fact: Garrett Hedlund and Terrence Howard have worked together before in 2005 when they shot Four Brothers.
- There was a lot of hitchhiking happening years ago and people were very trusting about picking up strangers.
- Dean is a horrible driver.
- Sal should have gone to Mexico alone.
- Dean leaving Sal in Mexico after he got sick was really messed up.