7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Check out the deleted scenes, film over edited I think.,
This review is from: On the Road [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I wanted to like this film, even though I didn't like the book which I read many years ago. Too much a "boys" book for my taste. Unfortunately I think the film over states the worst aspects of the two main characters (Dean and Sal) and left me really disliking Dean the whole film. I then watched the deleted scenes and saw a different Dean. He was much more rounded out and I could warm to him a little at least.
Sal(Jack Kerouac) meets Dean (Neil Cassidy) not long after his father died. He sees something in Dean that attracts him like a long lost brother, and together with Carlo (Alan Ginsberg), they hang out exploring music (Yip Rock Jazz), poetry, drugs and a lot of sex. I don't remember the sex in the book. It is casual, meaningless sex that bodes no respect towards anyone. Dean treats women with an offensiveness that makes you long for the feminism that will not appear for more than twenty years in the future.
I had thought that this was a story about being on the road for the love of travel and the self discovery that can bring. Not here. In the film the journeys are episodic and made for a purpose, except the last one to Mexico which did seem to be just for the sheer pleasure of an adventure.
The best parts of the film are on the road. Good cinematography while Sal narrates excerpts of what will become his book. If only more of the film had this flow and poetry. Instead too much is cut out and the sex exploits seem to dominate. Yes Dean was a young man but are drugs and sex his only interests? Maybe. He has in fact a family in San Francisco , his wife Camille and two young daughters. He himself has no idea where his own father is and at times he is seen searching Denver for any traces of the man.
Other characters that play a small part include Bull Lee, in real life William Boroughs who was a good friend to Sal.
The acting by the two main characters was not as I imagined them to be. They lacked the aura needed to play such big characters. However the acting by the two female main characters was very good and much more convincing. Other supporting cast gave good performances.