The first trailer for Walter Salles’ “On the Road” has been released, following hot on the heels of the poster debut just last week. The new film, which stars Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart, is based on the classic novel of the same name by Beat legend Jack Kerouac.
The trailer begins by showcasing the rebellious exploits of lead duo Sal and Dan (Riley and Hedlund) as they embark on a series of wild adventures across America, with all the joint-rolling, car-skidding, naked-driving, sexy-dancing wantonness that entails. The last half of the clip gives an indication of the book’s darker undercurrents, including reckless Dean’s problems with second wife Camille (Kirsten Dunst) and one bit around the 1:08 mark that seems to show Sal suffering from the effects of dysentery during a fateful trip to Mexico that occurs late in the book.
Stewart, of course, will be the subject of much of the press attention for her “grown-up” role in the film, though her character (Dean’s 16-year-old wife Marylou) plays more of a supporting part in the story than the advertising campaign indicates (notice the “and” before her name in the top-tier of the credits). And besides, it’s not like this is the first time she’s ever played a damaged, rebellious chick (see: “The Runaways”, “Adventureland”, “Welcome to the Rileys”). In any case…
The best part of the trailer is the way it showcases the gorgeous film’s cinematography (the visual aesthetic reminds me a little of Salles’ Che Guevara biopic “The Motorcycle Diaries”), and I like the wandering, melancholy feel it works up in the final stretch (which is true to the spirit of the book). That said, there’s a sense that it may tend more to a “Hollywood”-style interpretation rather than a truly audacious one. While Salles is certainly a good director, at the end of the day he’s not known for being particularly adventurous.
All in all, though, this is a pretty solid trailer.
My grade: B+. After watching it below, rate it for yourself at top left!
Follow me on Twitter @HitFixChris
“On the Road” is slated for release sometime in 2012.