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.

Film Review: Chronicle

Chronicle is a highly enjoyable science fiction film. Don’t be deterred by the age of the protagonists; the film should satisfy a wide demographic.

Teenager Andrew decides to start filming his day-to-day life; a clear indicator of his detachment from fellow students and the social order of the American high school. When his cousin Matt and popular classmate Steve find something unusual at a party, they ask Andrew to come along and film it. The trio soon discover some unusual side effects…

Chronicle is a very entertaining directorial debut from Josh Trank. The reason the film functions so well is because it fulfils the regular super hero movie tropes, but in a way that is fresh and interesting. The screenplay by Max Landis is great in its ability to combine teen concerns with a science-fiction narrative.

Characters in Chronicle appear multi-faceted. At first, the three main players seem like broad stereotypes. However, complexities arise as the film progresses. The interactions between these three in particular come across as authentic. There is some good humour that helps to balance the later seriousness of Chronicle. The film’s initial set up works well to absorb viewers; there is sufficient mystery which is retained for a significant part of the duration.

The handheld camera works well in Chronicle. There seems more of a point to the characters filming, compared with many ‘found fotage’ films. The special effects are decent, with some impressive sequences. The film exhibits elements of certain 1970s films, notably Superman and Carrie. Thankfully Chronicle does not attempt to rip them off; they appear as slight influences instead.

Dane DeHaan is fantastically cast as Andrew. He certainly looks the part of the isolated teen, with mannerisms to match. Alex Russell and Michael B. Jordan share great chemistry as Matt and Steve. Chronicle should certainly raise the profile of these three actors.

Josh Trank and Max Landis have produced a great film. Chronicle functions superbly as a sci-fi/superhero/teen movie hybrid and is highly recommend for those with an interest in any of these film genres.

Chronicle Trailer

Well this is intriguing. Above is the trailer for Chronicle, a film I know nothing about. From this stance, the trailer captures the attention. It seems to be a sci-fi/horror, using the handheld camera format. Shades of I Know What You Did Last Summer and The Blair Witch Project become apparent, as well as abilities that can be likened to X-Men. I’m sure we will find out more about this mysterious film closer to its release on 2nd March 2012.