Sunday, December 2, 2012
On The Road with Garrett Hedlund
Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles did the unthinkable. In his adaptation of Jack Kerouac's classic novel On The Road, for the first time since Panic Room he had me not only enjoying a movie featuring Kristen Stewart, but her performance as well.
Character driven drama's are my favorite type of film, and in On The Road there is no shortage of great characters, each played by great actors. Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge and Terrence Howard all turn in memorable performances in their supporting roles. The film however belongs to it's leads Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund.
Hedlund, and not just because he is naked a few times, is always compelling and I love the relationship between his character Dean and Riley's Sal. The film is based on the year Kerouac spent travelling the US in the 1940s. One of the great things about the film, is that nothing and everything really happens. There are no murders, no big accidents or catastrophic events. Just the relationship between the two men and the people they encounter along the way.
Hedlund's Dean is familiar to me. I think we have all at one time or another been around a Dean. He is that guy everyone loves, sexy but not perfect, open and welcoming to everyone, yet not especially nice to any of them. Straight but with no issue being naked with and around other men. Unabashedly sexual, a magnet to both women and men. You don't just want to be near him, with him, it becomes for some, an obsession. Dean is aware of his appeal and loves to display his sexual prowess to those around him.
Like most men with Dean's qualities, he is also self destructive and although people want to be with him, near him, most end up tiring of his type of energy and end up needing to exercise him from their lives.
Hollywood doesn't often make dialogue and character driven movies like On The Road these days so when you find one it is a great gift. The film is a bit long but the performances and jazz soundtrack make the journey worth it.
Garrett with Steve Buscemi