On The Road


Jack Kerouac's beat classic can feel like a neverending student gap year

A pet project of producer Francis Ford Coppola since 1979, Walter Salles’ (The Motorcycle Diaries) restless, textured take on Jack Keroauc’s 1957 beat classic can’t fix the problems inherent in the material.

Following Keroauc stand-in Sal (Sam Riley), rebel archetype Dean (Garrett Hedlund) and saucy piggy-in-the-middle Marylou (Kristen Stewart) on a cameo-packed odyssey across America, it conjures moments of real beauty amid the endless shagging and showboating.

But it’s also episodic, overlong and stuck with characters who, 45 years too late, seem like self-mythologising students on a gap year without end.

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