Film Review: Kill Your Darlings

kill your darlings

Based on incident concerning the Beat Generation, Kill Your Darlings is a sufficiently entertaining slice of history.

Allen Ginsberg, an aspiring writer, heads of to Columbia with the hopes of furthering his career. Whilst there, he meets Lucian Carr, whose striking personality and attitude strikes the attention of Ginsberg. When a major incident occurs, the lives of Ginsberg, Carr, William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac…

John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings features a well-known protagonist, although the film revolves around less familiar events. It is interesting to see a depiction of these famous writers before they became acclaimed.

The film throws up some interesting elements during the course of the narrative. The main incident acts like a catalyst to explore the darker side to their lifestyles. It is almost like a device to consider the young writers’ ideas.

The film posits this period as exciting, and full of intellectual potential. However, Krokidas also emphasises the rivalry and pressure between the group of friends. The film does not offer a rose-tinted view of events; there is a seediness which is inescapable. Pacing in the film could have been stronger. There are moments were the narrative falters, with attention displaced on generating the mood.

Chaos in Kill Your Darlings is projected in a suitable fashion, although there is some repetition in scenes as Krokidas seems to overemphasise his point. The limited budget for the production seems to have limited locations. Music in the film is good.

Daniel Radcliffe offers an assured performance as Allen Ginbsurg. The actor is convincing in the role. It is Dane DeHaan who really shines as Lucien Carr. DeHaan is really exhibiting his range since last year’s Chronicle. Michael C. Hall is also good in a supporting role.

Kill Your Darlings offers good performances and purposeful reproduction of the period. Certainly worthwhile viewing for fans of the writers depicted.