Sex! Drugs! Experience! A healthy dose of misadventure on half a tank of gas. The 2012 rendition of John Kerouac’s classic novel “On The Road” is less a masterpiece of the food for thought variety, as it is a tender recall of shock, admiration, and love for that one reckless friend from our youth fearlessly embracing their restlessness and hunger for life. That one we watch in awe throwing themselves into the things we only dream we could be so carefree to entertain.
Taking place in the fifties time period we follow a man who befriended the likes of a bit of a grifter, Dean Moriarty, observing the roller coaster of misadventures that ensue. Trading off a stable presence as company for a front row seat in the beautiful shit show of what can only be described as venturing through raw human experiences unapologetically.
Lost without a stable father figure, easily bored, and unstable, Dean Moriarty makes his way through the world conning his basic needs with a certain charm unconscious mostly even to himself. This fact showcased beautifully in the period when he was down on himself, without that certain spark, he struggled to find support through his usual tricks. A naturally clever man coasted his way through his late twenties seeking to rely on those absent roots he’d learned to live without.
From this downtrodden period, as well as many others throughout the film, we can examine the true meaning of The Beatles hit, “with a little held from my friends.” As Moriarty is forced to fall back on anyone he can during his relentless explorations.
A beautiful book, as well as a film, honing in on the trials and tribulations of simply living ones life to the fullest. All the wonderful, horrendous, necessary to some mistakes along the way. How even the most peculiar of humans can be a source of inspiration, to be of tremendous value, and sometimes even be let down similar to how they have done to others. A glorious display of a fundamental need for learning through human experience.