Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review of ‘Kill Your Darlings’

A film about the origins of the Beat Generation, with adolescent Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg getting up to all sorts of naughty pranks in 1940s New York. Lots of drugs and booze, some vandalism and sneaking into the library at night to substitute rude books like Ulysses and Tropic of Cancer for the university’s recognised canon in glass cabinets. Oh what fun they had!

It all goes a bit wrong when a gay love triangle ends in a brutal stabbing murder, but it works out OK 
for our three hipster heroes, who are bailed out by their parents (or in Kerouac’s case, his fiancée), and even for the murderer himself who gets off on the hilarious defence that his victim was a homosexual predator, and so the stabbing was in “self-defence”.

I’m being a bit unfair, but this wasn't all that good. Daniel Radcliffe is sort of all right as a moody Ginsberg, and there are lots of smouldering looks between him and his not-quite-gay lover, but it’s hard to take a rebellion against metre and rhyme, and based on cutting up books, very seriously.

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