Too frequently, films portraying artists fail to capture the creative process. Yet John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings accurately succeeds.
This biopic depicts the inception of the ‘beat generation’ tracing Allen Ginsberg’s (Daniel Radcliffe) early years at Columbia University, and the vitally inspirational and debauched friendships he forms with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), the gloriously decadent William Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston).
When Carr’s fatally obsessed older mentor, David Kammerer (Michael C.Hall), dies as a result of Carr’s ‘honour-slaying’, Ginsberg falls deeper into Carr’s frightening yet alluring world of sexual and creative discovery. Eventually developing the literary distinctiveness that led to his fame as America’s foremost beat poet.
The recurring expression “It’s complicated” describes the tone of a film both enchanting and laden with ambiguity. (SC)
BY SAM CRASWELLER