Strictly for the literary set or fans of Daniel Radcliffe, this new Indie drama is based on the life of poet Allen Ginsberg. The film centers on Mr. Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg during his formative years at Columbia University. It is there in 1944 that he meets William Burroughs ( a fantastic Ben Foster), Jack Kerouac ( Jack Huston) and Lucian Carr ( an hypnotic Dane DeHaan). The four become fast friends until tragedy strikes.
Mr. Radcliffe has completely shed his Harry Potter shadow and emerges here in a complex and daring role. Mr. Foster is a chameleon who successfully disappears into every role and here even bears a resemblance to the real Mr. Burroughs. Mr. Huston is best known for his role on "Boardwalk Empire" and its good to see him in a different light. Lucian Carr is the central character here, the one who draws Mr. Ginsberg into a new world and helps to spark the "Beat Generation" to come. Mr. DeHaan has a magnetic charm that pulls you in and captivates you. If he is portraying Mr. Carr the way he truly was, then it's easy to see how Mr. Ginsberg fell under his spell.
The film also stars Michael C. Hall in a pivotal role, Elizabeth Olsen as Mr. Kerouac's girlfriend and Jennifer Jason Leigh and David Cross as Mr. Ginsberg's parents. It's quite an impressive cast doing very good work in a film not for everyone. The subject matter does not have the appeal for a wide audience but it's an interesting story none the less.