The boyfriend and myself watched (well in truth, fell asleep to) James Franco as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in ‘Howl’ late last night. I want to stress the ‘late’ part of the last sentence as this is the reason we fell asleep before the end and not because the movie bored the zzzzzz’s out of us. I liked the movie. Plus, having never read any Ginsberg prior to this I found it to be an intruiging introduction into his mind and work. The film is built much like a jigsaw which I’m sure a lot of people won’t like (there is no continuous plot to speak of) but I think this serves only to reflect the surreal style of the poem itself. I particularly loved the animated sequences which regularly interspersed the courtroom scenes and the scenes where Ginsberg muses about his art and its influences.
I’m a big fan of James Franco and I thought he did a splendid job as the gay Beats poet. He captivated me in every scene and I completely and utterly believed him in the role. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone not into poetry or literature as it is basically just a dramatization of the poem and a peek into the mind of its author. I’d give it a 3 out of 5 as visually it is gorgeous and Franco made it impossible to take your eyes or ears off of him. Also, I want to read Howl as a result of watching this movie so obviously it did something right ;).