Feature

Kill Your Darlings

A murder among the Beats

Directed by John Krokidas(R)

***

Say this for Daniel Radcliffe: “He’s got real talent,” said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. In fact, the 24-year-old Brit so confidently portrays New Jersey–born Allen Ginsberg in this fact-based drama about the young men who became the Beat movement’s leading lights that he “banishes all memories” of his long service as Harry Potter. Radcliffe may be the headliner here, but his co-star becomes “the reason to see the film,” said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Dane DeHaan plays Lucien Carr, a fellow Columbia University student who was Ginsberg’s first same-sex crush and who in the opening scene has just killed an older gay man who’d been stalking him. Flashbacks soon show us that it was Carr who introduced Ginsberg to fellow Beats-to-be Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, but we “feel an absence” any time DeHaan’s charismatic Carr leaves the screen to those bigger names. Worse, the film never does decide which story it wants to tell, said Michael Atkinson in The Village Voice. The murder itself becomes “essentially something that just happened.”

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