There seems to be a strong curiosity prevalent through society regarding the early years of an individual’s life, before they became noteworthy. The person does not even have to be real; just take a look at the success of the X-Men or Star Trek prequels for example. I admit I fall into this category of people who are fascinated with the younger years of a person. This is one reason why I enjoy looking at old photographs of friends and family. For a prominent person like Steve Jobs or Albert Einstein, I like to delve into that person’s childhood to see if there was some special moment that put the individual onto their life path. I do not know, but maybe my fascination has to do with examining my own life experiences to see the choices I made to get to the place I am at presently. Besides prequels, I have a fondness for movies that show a good story on the early history of famous people. With my interest in literature and poetry, this dramatic film festival nominated movie intrigued me. Based on true events the story was about the college years of some of the most renowned people of the beat generation. The time was 1944 when a murder had a connection to the poets Allen Ginsberg, played by Daniel Radcliffe (The Woman in Black, December Boys); Lucien Carr, played by Dane DeHaan (Lawless, Lincoln); Jack Kerouac, played by Jack Huston (Outlander, Boardwalk Empire-TV) and William Burroughs, played by Ben Foster (The Messenger, The Mechanic). Having only seen a few news footages of these writers, I thought the acting from Daniel, Ben and Michael C. Hall (Gamer, Dexter-TV) as David Kammerer was especially good. The movie had a dark stylized look that gave added authenticity to the story. There were a few passages that were slow for me and a couple of times I was simply confused. What kept me interested was the fact I was familiar with these writers, having read some of their works; so, some of you may not have the same interest level as mine. I would have preferred a deeper exploration of the characters because I think it would have helped the viewers who have had little exposure to these individuals. With that being said, I was entertained during a majority of the film, but was wondering how these writers would have told the story.
2 3/4 stars