Sunday, March 30, 2014

Little Darlings (Movie Review: Kill Your Darlings)

Daniel Radcliffe is doing a fine job of eradicating his wholesome Harry Poter image. Case in point: on "Kill Your Darlings," even though he wears similar spectacles, he conveys a much different persona. Playing a young Allen Ginsberg, he essays a character and his performance adds a layer of complexity that gives us a glimpse of how Mr. Ginsberg came of age, as he first meets some of his ilk from the Beat Generation. The movie starts from Ginsberg's acceptance to Columbia University and ends after he is expelled. In between, he meets Lucien Carr, and Carr becomes his partner, but we see there's more to that. Dane DaHaan plays Carr with smoldering sexy charm that we kind of see why Ginsberg fell in love with him. As a matter of fact, Carr's presence is felt more throughout the movie and he seems o be the glue that kept the whole threads of friendships together with David Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. The movie is well done and told the story well, but it still fell flat for me. Maybe because I was never really that interested in the Beat generation (give me th more hedonistic 70s any day over that) I did appreciate getting a glimpse of what Greenwich Village look and felt like during that time (it's a sad commentary that today Bleecker Street looks more like a shopping mall than the birthplace of rebellion and queer history)  I liked Radcliffe, and especially DaHaan's performances more than the film, but your mileage may vary.

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