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Kill Your Darlings - Film Review

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by Miyan (subscribe)
I'm a a part-time vocal coach and a mom of three lovely kids. I have a passion in writing besides music and languages.
Published December 1st 2013
Passionate, rebellious and dangerous
Kill Your Darlings, Luna Cinemas

Kill Your Darlings is a true to life story of a 1944 murder that pivots on a chapter in Allen Ginsberg's life at Columbia University before the emergence of the Beat Generation. An ambitious debut film by John Krokidas , Kill Your Darlings is a depiction of a youthful, rebellious spirit in search of its own voice that will turn classic literary scheme to a new vision in the making. As the story unfolds, the murder of a gay stalker David Kammerer put the three emerging artists' struggles for a new creation (that of Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Kerouc) to a halt as Burroughs and Kerouac, together with the cunning and manipulative Carr, are arrested in relation to Kammerer's murder.

Exciting, passionate, sexual, and dangerous, both Krokidas and co-writer Austin Bunn portray the labyrinth of intellectual and moral issues in the literary world where overindulgence of drugs and alcohol and boundaries of same sex relationships are explored. But to be able to enjoy the dynamic of the film better, it is important to know that Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Jack Kerouc were the three most prominent American writers of their time representing the Beat Generation of the 1950s. To mention this fact is to point out that Burroughs and Kerouc's characters in the film are not deeply rooted, which is probably understandable given the limitation of the movie duration. Nonetheless, their reputations in the movie easily convey those of non-conformists, innovators of styles and creators of spontaneity.

In contrast, the constant focus of the camera on Carr's and Ginberg's facial expression summons the viewers to interpret the seduction and danger, as well as obsession and euphoria through the character's eyes. A very effective technique, indeed!

Kill Your Darlings - a literary term and advice referring to an author's much-loved element in his writing - is a work of a creative mind that has put together a well- structured plot, convincing characters, polished editing and artistic cinematography. The contemporary soundtrack at a heightened act of the drama is adventurous, the expository dialogues are instinctive and the narratives are thought-provoking. Here are some favourite insightful lines:

"The literary revolution without writing a word!" is Kammerer's cynical riposte referring to Carr's plagiarism.

"I like complicated!" as Carr encourages Ginsberg to reveal his dark secret (and vice versa) is both daring and teasing.

"The important thing that your father ever did was fail me!" is a reflective thought uttered by Ginsberg's mother at a time when Ginsberg was confused if he would 'kill his darling' after the revelation of the true Carr being an exploiter, an emotional traitor, and a murderer.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg, Dane De Haan as Lucien Carr, Michael C. Hall as David Kammerer, Ben Foster as William Burroughs, and Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac, Kill Your Darlings is a film that invites the viewers into the minds of budding legendary artistic writers. It is rated R for sex scenes, drug use, offensive language and violence with a running time of 104 minutes. Kill Your Darlings is a 'must see' film.

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Why? A true story of murder
When: Now showing
Phone: 9444 4056
Where: In cinemas
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