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KILL YOUR DARLINGS (review)

kill_your_darlingsKILL YOUR DARLINGS
Written by Austin Bunn and John Krokidas
Directed by John Krokidas

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHann and Michael C. Hall

After last year’s long awaited film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD disappointed audiences, Hollywood is giving the beat generation another go with KILL YOUR DARLINGS. John Krokidas’s film follows Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) through his time at college, where he meets and befriends Lucien Carr (Dane DeHann), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster). One of the film’s main arcs concerns Ginsberg discovering his homosexuality, as he finds himself increasingly attracted to Carr, who is romantically involved with David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall). Krokidas’s film is at times a pretty wild ride, featuring plenty of sex, murder, and great poetry but, like ON THE ROAD before it, it wears out its welcome before getting to the point.

KILL YOUR DARLINGS often borders on being bold and profound but never quite gets there. When it gets close, it can be attributed to the ensemble. Radcliffe gives a strong performance as Allen Ginsberg, but, all the same, he is greatly outshined by co-star, DeHann. Unfortunately, Michael C. Hall does not break away from his title character from the series “Dexter”; so it rather feels like Dexter Morgan is playing David Kammerer, rather than Hall. The rest of the performances are good, but no others stand out, which is disappointing considering how many opportunities there are to do so.

kill-your-darlings-trailer-dan-radcliffe1

The film is initially very promising, but begins to lose steam at the halfway point, in a scene where Ginsberg and his friends attempt to steal some restricted books from the library. This scene feels very awkward, as it is done in a completely different style than the rest of the film. For some reason Krokidas plays this scene like it’s from an action movie, rather than a period drama. Inconsistencies like this make the film feel disjointed, and not in a poetic fashion. Ultimately, KILL YOUR DARLINGS is a decent film but never matches the genius of the characters it presents.

3_5

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give Kill Your Darlings?

2 Comments

  1. Not gonna rip your review but it is similar to a fail criticism of On the Road. The character Lucien Carr should outshine Ginsberg just as the character Dean should outshine Sal. Lucien was the star of the early beat movement inspiring Kerouac (who wrote Lucien Midnight trying to capture Lucien’s way of speaking in poetry) and Ginsberg just as Neal was the star later on.

  2. I understand, but in the review I’m talking about the performances given by the actors, and how that affected the portrayal of the characters, not the actual people themselves.

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