Wednesday, March 4, 2015

On the Road-A review of the movie and personal musings

I watched On the Road Today- a story by Jack Kerouac, what struck me more than the actual texture of the film was the underlying theme. First off, I realize why critics like movies that can seem boring from the surface, I believe it’s more the texture of the film, the interaction between characters and the interplay of scene and character, this is only a theory.

The beginning of the film deals with  the free spirit of the beatnik generation. You could sense a lack of purpose and the desperate need for it. Drugs, jazz and conversation fill the gaps of boredom as a group of would be writers search for purpose in 1947 New York. Each character yearns for inspiration on the brink of killing themselves or enjoying the absolute rapture of sex, drugs and jazz and not finding fulfillment with either avenue.

I was bored in the first part of the movie, a boredom that after watching the whole movie was actually empathy for characters seeking fulfillment through various reckless avenues and coming up empty. I can relate to the feeling of searching for that which feeds the soul.

My interest grew with the traveling portion, a passion I could truly relate with. I think there is a common bond among writers, an intense need to experience. Desperation for changing atmosphere, to see new places and learn new things about your surroundings and ultimately the self in relation.

To me, there is no greater adventure than the road. It brings solitude and introspection all highlighted by an ever-changing environment. I love how mountains begin as distant phantoms and grow to dwarf the traveler. I love the first smell of the ocean or how a city or small town disappears as the speed limit increases and you realize how much open space separates town and city. I enjoy finding out of the way diners, holes in the wall, people who are passing through or the regular fixtures of a diner or pub.

I love to listen to peoples stories, how their town used to be, how there’s no barbecue like this place left, A barbecue place in Knoxville or an amazing little diner in Bakersfield. You connect the dots, you realize freedom is just a walk outside your house and beyond the walls of your life, this I believe is a writers’ paradise.

Unfortunately for the writer, the truth bites hard, the fact that there must be some form of conformity, due to the innate need for financing the road. Freedom is not free, it is a choice that can cost us everything, and there can be much suffering in not conforming to the standard programmed life. We must balance our freedom and ability not to be tied down by our highly demanding lives, relationships and the cost of being free to roam.

We must be realistic with who we are-we must balance relationships, family and finances. Just like Free Love was a farce the ability to not be tied down by anything has its drawbacks. The characters in On the Road experience the pain of wanting to be free and how we hurt those we included in our lives, Nothing is perfect, from the corporate man that keeps one job to the traveler who ties themselves to nowhere-there are drawbacks and costs to each.

In the end, you see the selfishness that costs one writer everything and the wisdom of the other character conforming to some of societies contracts.  I believe there is a possibility of compromise between the two lives.

I have seen people that live outside the corporate and programmed life, there is a feeling of elation in the succeeding on your own terms but there are also the life pangs which I consider necessary to feel alive.

There is nothing more amazing than the difference between having to rely on meager sustenance, the ramen noodle diet and splurging for an amazing meal, Just as warmth is never such a blessing than from someone who has felt the cold deep in ones bones. I believe the extremes are the only way we can truly enjoy the full breadth of our lives. So for those that get out on the road, figuratively or literally, enjoy the pangs, they will give way to rapture in the elation of succeeding on our own terms.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Artistgordon - Find me on