The domestic teaser trailer for On the Road is a series of moving snapshots that encapsulate the jazzy lifestyle of the Beat Generation, as originally covered in Jack Kerouac’s famous pseudo-autobiographical book.
Several famous faces and big-name cast members flash by here, leaving little time for viewers to even register what they’ve seen. Nonetheless, essential players who pop up in the teaser include Garrett Hedlund (TRON Legacy), Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley (13), Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, and Terrence Howard. Such actresses as Amy Adams, Alice Braga (I Am Legend), and Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss also help bring the character chorus of Kerouac’s tale to life.
On the Road tells the story of a generation through the eyes of three people: writer Sal (Riley) as well as free-spirited couple Dean (Hedlund) and Marylou (Stewart). The trio venture across the country with no pre-set physical destination, but driven by a desire to find “it”: the “pure essence of experience” that will be uncovered once social customs have been subverted – thus, setting the stage for a new way of living (that’s the theory in a nutshell, anyway…).
Ideals and notions about up-ending the established order were all the rage during the counter-cultural movement of the mid-20th century, back when Kerouac wrote his self-definitive piece of literature. Of course, the flip side of the coin is Hunter S. Thompson, who explored the darker side of sex, drugs, and damning-the-man through stories like The Rum Diary – before touching on the disintegration of the movement with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund dancing in ‘On the Road’
Directing duties for On the Road were handled by Walter Salles of The Motorcycle Diaries fame. However, the advance critical buzz on Salles’ new period-drama/road trip film is more lukewarm, with the general consensus pointing to an adaptation that’s visually-captivating, but fails to capture the spirit of Kerouac’s literature. To be fair, that was always going to be tricky, given how many of the writer’s once-revolutionary ideas are now regarded as clichés.
Still, On the Road seems worthy of attention, if only for those who love (or are curious about) Kerouac’s source material – not to mention, moviegoers who want to see what Hedlund and Stewart are like when they’re not acting in mainstream popcorn fare (or Twilight, in Stewart’s case). For those interested: we also have an international trailer and several clips from the film that you can watch now for free.
On the Road begins a limited U.S. theatrical release on December 21st, 2012.