Film Review: On The Road, directed by Walter Salles

I found this film extremely intriguing, but without really keeping my full attention throughout. That does sound slightly like I’ve contradicted myself, but what I mean is that the ideas that the film presents are actually more powerful that the film itself, which I feel loses itself in a complex spider web narrative. The idea of a young writer travelling across America in a free spirited way meeting new people and doing crazy things is something that I found appealing and amusing to watch. Despite this the film just ends up circling around through events that happen and you end up wondering and losing what the point of the journey is. The last half an hour or so gives the story a bit of meaning and purpose, but it would have been more effective, personally, if that had been a running commentary. The film reminds me of the ‘Big Leboewski’ and ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ in the way it subtly makes stabs at ‘consumerism America’ in a crazy non-linear narrative, although the film is no way near as controversial and good as them. If you’re looking for something a bit different on a boring night then give it a watch, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it again.


First published: March 1, 2013