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.

Viggo Mortensen

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

Sam Riley

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's really strange that you've wrote your analogy of the Dean character today because several years ago, I was close friends with a guy named Dean who acted just like what your description depicted to a tee. However, after his actions towards me, it was confirmed to me that he was not straight. He came on to me sexually several times butt naked before I actually gave in. Once I did, he started kissing me and fondling my body while he whispered in my ear how long he has been waiting to have sex with me. Once I went to give him a blowjob, he punched me across my jaw, knocked me down to floor and began punching me aggressively while calling me a Fucking Faggot. I knocked him off and asked him to leave or I will call the police. He eventually left but came back begging me to let him back in which I did not. A couple of days later, he called me crying and begging for my forgiveness. He came over crying hysterically and hugging on me saying how much he loved me and how sorry he was for his actions. I eventually accepted his apology but requested that we move slowly in regard to re-establishing our friendship again. I suffer from kidney disease and was prescribed medication at that time that made you very drowsy and weak. He knew of my health condition and when I was getting ready to take the medication, I asked him to leave. He insisted on staying because he did not want to leave me alone. However, to my surprise, once the medication had taken effect, I looked up drowsily and he was standing the doorway, butt naked, with a bottle of scotch in his hand and a devilish grin on his face. He told me that he was going to take care of me and preceded to straddle me while ripping off my clothes. I was so weak from the medication that I could not pull him off. He took the bottle of liquor and pried my mouth open and poured the liquor down my throat. He preceded to attack me sexually as I blacked out. Once I woke up, I never saw him again and he left town to start a new life.