No Magic, Just Murder in Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘Kill Your Darlings’
Daniel Radcliffe has proven over the last couple of years that there is most definitely life after Hogwarts.
With impressive turns in "The Woman in Black" (as a widowed father of two, no less) and on the BBC series, "A Young Doctor's Notebook," Radcliffe has definitely graduated. Now, the "Harry Potter" alum is moving onto college and true crime whilst playing a young man destined to become one of the most prominent literary figures of the 20th century in "Kill Your Darlings."
"Kill Your Darlings" tells the real-life story of the murder that brought together many of the key members of what would be referred to as the Beat Generation. While attending New York's Columbia University, Allen Ginsberg (Radcliffe) meets Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) and is soon taken with Carr's sense of mystery and radical anti-establishment ideas (known as his "New Vision," a thesis recycled from Emersonian transcendentalism and Paris Bohemianism.)
Ginsberg and Carr's blossoming friendship is interrupted by the sudden arrival of David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), a former teacher and childhood friend of William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) who has since taken to following Carr wherever he goes.
On August 13, 1944, Kammerer's obsession with Carr came to a head. According to Carr, he and Kammerer had gone to Riverside Park when the older man made yet another sexual advance. When Carr rejected it, there was a physical struggle, ending in Carr stabbing Kammerer with a knife. Carr then tied the assailant's hands and feet, weighted the body with rocks and dumped it into the Hudson River.
The trailer shows the beginnings of Ginsberg and Carr's friendship as well as their acquaintance with William Burroughs before segueing into thriller territory, made all the more intense by having Dexter himself playing the obsessive Kammerer. You also get a few glimpses of Elizabeth Olsen as Edie Parker. Parker's parents posted the $100 bond to bail out material witness Jack Kerouac (played by Jack Huston in the film) on the condition that the soon-to-be-famous poet marry their daughter.
Radcliffe looks to be a fine Ginsberg as he joins the ranks of recent big-screen portrayals of the National Book Award winning writer, including James Franco ("Howl") and David Cross ("I'm Not There"). Interestingly enough, Cross plays Ginsberg's father Louis in "Kill Your Darlings."
However, the film looks to be DeHaan's show all the way. The up-and-comer has really hit it out of the park over the past couple of years with his intense and charismatic turns in "Chronicle," "Lawless," and "The Place Beyond the Pines," and he's set for the big leagues as Harry Osborn in next summer's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." DeHaan is perfectly cast as Lucien Carr and he's been receiving raves for his performance, with the most amusing pull quote to date coming from Entertainment Weekly: "Dane DeHaan is hot and dangerous."
"Kill Your Darlings" premiered at Sundance earlier this year and will be screening at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10. It will hit U.S. theaters on October 18.
Daniel Radcliffe has two other films screening at TIFF this year: Alexandre Aja's supernatural thriller, "Horns," based on the excellent novel by Joe Hill, and "The F Word," which finds Radcliffe falling into the unfortunate "friend zone" with Zoe Kazan.