KILL YOUR DARLINGS: THE REVIEW

Kill Your Darlings is a freight train sleeper of a film. Never thought it would amount to much but wanted to see it for my Harry Potter fix and because I am in love with everything Dane DeHaan does. Never even saw the trailer before the film and then BANG BAM SMACK – it slapped me in the face and is now one of my top five films for the year. It is just incredibly told and made with exceptional story and character driven plot acted by some of the best young talent on the planet. 

 

Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Kill Your Darlings, Kill Your Darlings Review, Austin Bunn, John Krokidas, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW REVIEW

 

Daniel Radcliffe stars as Beat Generation icon Allen Ginsberg in this biopic set during the famed poet’s early years at Columbia University, and centering on a murder investigation involving Ginsberg, his handsome classmate Lucien Carr, and fellow Beat author William Burroughs. The year is 1944. Ginsberg (Radcliffe) is a young student at Columbia University when he falls hopelessly under the spell of charismatic classmate Carr (Dane DeHaan). Alongside Carr, Ginsberg manages to strike up friendships with aspiring writers William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) that would cast conformity to the wind, and serve as the foundation of the Beat movement. Meanwhile, an older outsider named David Kammerer falls deeply and madly in love with the impossibly cool Carr. Later, when Kammerer dies under mysterious circumstances, police arrest Kerouac, Burroughs, and Carr as potential suspects, paving the way for an investigation that would have a major impact on the lives of the three emerging artists.

 

Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Kill Your Darlings, Kill Your Darlings Review, Austin Bunn, John Krokidas, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW REVIEW

 

This character driven film is based on, or more, told from the perspective of Allen Ginsberg and while I have read Kerouac and Burroughs I am yet to read Ginsberg, but he is on my Christmas list. It literally blows my mind that this is based on truth and that these three greats of American literature all hang out together and through this union, in a time where academia was applauded and challenged they formed a revolution of literature that we now know as the Beat Generation. They did it all, took it all, swallowed copious amounts of drugs all in the name of discovery and creativity. While all of the actual events took place I do find there must be some fictionalisation and imagining in how it formed who they would become as literary marvels. But after these events they all went pretty much their own ways and paved the American literary movement.

 

Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Kill Your Darlings, Kill Your Darlings Review, Austin Bunn, John Krokidas, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW REVIEW

 

My words immediately as the film finished was “as poetically prophetic as the words of Ginsberg” – yes, I have never read them but a lot of them are shared in the film. The film is a coming of age biopic, plain and simple, but the way it is shot, the people it is about and the era it is presented in make for a superb setting. Add to that it turns into a crime thriller halfway through without altering the plot or your feelings toward the film. This easily gives the film more points and shine a light on newcomer director John Krokidas who is now a director to keep an eye on. The film oozes cool in another era, something that the hipsters of today will fall in love with, it is about cheap drinks, partying, jazz music, writing and generally living life to the fullest in this superb time. What’s not to love!

 

Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Kill Your Darlings, Kill Your Darlings Review, Austin Bunn, John Krokidas, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW REVIEW

 

The original drawcard for me was Daniel Radcliffe, I am an obsessive Harry Potter fan and I think Radcliffe has much talent, talent that just shines in this film. He has definitely shed his wizarding ways and is now a force to be reckoned with. This film is not for the Harry Potter fans, unless you are keen on seeing the Potter kiss other gents and partake in some good old fashioned buggery 🙂 For me – amazing hahaha. While Radcliffe is superb he is outshone in this film by Dane DeHaan (Lucien Carr), my new number one actor, he can do no wrong for me. In this he is cunning, manipulative and lives with a sense of overbearing entitlement. He is completely without the talent of his peers but comes forward as the leader and bends everyone to his ways. He gets Ginsberg to write for him and submit his papers after he dumps the previous man to fall in love for him and do all his writing, also brilliantly played by Dexter, oops I mean, Michael C Hall. To maintain his lifestyle Lucien plays on the emotions of these men until they are wrapped around his little finger, the sad thing, he is so charismatic, I was writing things for him before the film had finished.

 

Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen, Kill Your Darlings, Kill Your Darlings Review, Austin Bunn, John Krokidas, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs.
KILL YOUR DARLINGS: THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW REVIEW

 

Ben Foster and Jack Huston round out Burroughs and Kerouac marvellously. Foster is such a talented actor who is outacted purely because of screen time but his Burroughs definitely rang true for me of what I would imagine a younger Burroughs being. It would be amiss of me not to also mention that stalwart talent of the supporting mums of the film. Jennifer Jason Leigh is one messed up Mrs Ginsberg and Kyra Sedgwick plays Mrs Carr, a woman who is an open book as to why Lucien was the way he was.

This film has it all, coming of age, hipster cool, jazz, love, some great comedy, drugs, murder, literature, history and amazing acting, I would kill to see this as a stage play!! I cannot rave enough – pre-ordered on Blu Ray already and considering seeing it again on the big screen when it releases tomorrow Dec 5th in Australia. It is rated MA15+ and runs for 103mins. Just superb!

 

5 Pops