Kill Your Darlings, more like kill my feelings.
Before I start gushing, let me set the premise. Because when it comes to this film, simply saying it’s based on the Beat Generation is not enough- it’s not like most other Beat films.
The film begins with budding poet Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) unexpectedly accepted into Columbia University for a degree in poetry, and urged to go by his renowned-poet-father although his schizophrenic mom frantically pleads him not to. Stepping into the prestigious campus, he is immediately taken in by the hedonistic and charismatic rebel student Lucien Carr (Dane Dehaan), and quickly befriends him. Carr has a dream of starting a new literary movement that would erase conventional poetry- assonance, rhyming, vanilla subject matters- from the public’s minds. However, lacking the chops to do so, he surrounds himself with Ginsberg, “real writer” Jack Kerouac and caustic-druggie-in-a-pinstriped-suit William S. Burroughs while immersing Ginsy into NYC’s bohemian drug, booze and jazz filled underbelly. The cogs turn and the plan is soon set in motion (predominantly helped along by Ginsberg’s immense talent, discovery of amphetamines and infatuation towards Carr) to overthrow the institute’s stick-in-the-mud uptight ways and the current literary status quo. However, obstructing this team of literary Avengers is David Kammerer- Carr’s much older, obsessed sexual stalker-lover-homeworkdoer who just refuses to take a hint. When Carr takes aggressive measures to end their twisted relationship, the Beat Generation is caught in a murder investigation.