Rated: R for sexual content, language, drug use and brief violence. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: October 16, 2013 Released by: Sony Pictures Classics
The birth of a new generation of poets is connected by the murder of accomplished student Lucien Carr's former lover, David Kammerer, once a college English professor.
Kill Your Darlings (set in the mid 1940s) stars Daniel Radcliffe (The Woman In Black), Dane Dehaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston and Ben Foster as the formative years of the "Beat" writers is recounted with Radcliffe's Allen Ginsberg acceptance into Columbia College.
Ginsberg's dad Louis (David Cross) is a renowned poet whom he lives with in Paterson, New Jersey before assimilating himself into a new crowd while not really getting a lot out of the orations of his instructor (John Callum). Allen's psychotic mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) would later be institutionalized.
Shortly after moving to the dormitory, the reticent, vanilla young man, in this rather eye-opening adaptation co-written by helmer John Krokidas from a story by his fellow scribe, Austin Bunn (apparently with little sensationalizing) gleans much from new pals like Jack Kerouac (Huston), William Burroughs (Foster), as well as janitor's aide Kammerer (Michael C. Hall of Showtime's Dexter) and especially problematic homosexual Carr (a smooth, blonde Dehaan, currently in Metallica: Through The Never).
Carr can be a troublemaker, indeed, as a school library tour scene indicates, and attracts a burgeoning poet like Ginsberg into a clique (while fooling around with Kammerer) which would do away with the likes of Dickens even though their lyrical ideologies may compare with the likes of Thoreau and Emerson. Ginsberg would eventually find his way into the Merchant Marines after his professor passed on his final exam to the dean (David Rasche) and opted not to clean up his lascivious prose.
The bookend fashion of the tale depicts the incarcerated Carr but aims to inform of a fraternal niche that he has cast his rather debauched, penetrating spell over. So, while Dehaan excels as the obscene scene-stealer, a game Radcliffe (not physically resembling the man who would late would be balding with long hair down his back and a scraggly beard) doing his best to finally shake his Harry Potter image takes the linchpin in Ginsberg to explicit depths when a library aide amusingly takes him to the stacks. Kill Your Darlings knows mainstream-wise it listens to the beat of a different drummer and, with notable costars like Elizabeth Olsen as Edna Parker and even Kyra Sedgwick, Radcliffe wouldn't have it any other way.
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