Starring Courtney Love, Kiefer Sutherland, Ron Livingston and Norman Reedus
Directed by: Gary Walkow
Written by: Gary Walkow
“Beat”, the based on a true story of people trying to find their way, looking to one another for direction and seeing one man as the center of everything they seek. Male or female, the crowd who became the original Beatniks were drawn to Lucien Carr’s charisma, his ability to bring people together even when he didn’t always know the answers himself.
After serving two years for the murder of his would be attacker, Lucien Carr, along with his good friend, Alan Ginsberg, travel to Mexico to visit their long time friend, William Burroughs. Only Burroughs has already left by the time they arrive for a side trip with his newest boy toy.
Alone, miserable with no hope and no way out, Burroughs wife, Joan, entertains their friends and eventually agrees to a road trip of their own, just the three of them. The sexual tension between Carr and Joan sizzles in every scene. Both wanting one goal, while knowing their paths will never be the same no matter how much they talk and fantasize and pretend. One night of intimacy together and they head home and Carr and Ginsberg return to New York, reluctantly leaving Joan even though they begged her to come. Her answer was always the same: “I can’t leave Bill."
On Bill’s return, a gun fanatic and while drunk, he fatally shoots Joan in the head and Lucien, who cared so deeply for her, even if he couldn’t commit to her, learns when the announcement comes over the wire while he is at work at the United Press.
Courtney Love as Joan – beautiful. I saw her in a light I have never seen before, giving a fantastic performance that radiated with depth and emotion. It was truly a masterpiece.
Keifer Sutherloang speaking in the same dialect as the real Burroughs, he was more lost than leader but held his position where he wanted it.
Ron Livingston as Allan Ginsberg almost the glue that held everyone together. Even though he himself was in love with Lucien, he knew to not seek out a relationship that would never be welcome. He was the reason behind their voices and ideas.
Norman Reedus as Lucien Carr – and have checked out the life of the real Lucien Carr – he really was a great, great man who I truly admired. Lucien Carr succeeded in life, as well in writing, seemingly without trying. People were drawn to him, as in the movie: wanted to talk to him, be with him, have him a member if their life. They wanted to sleep with him and have his essence become part of them. Reedus’ performance as Carr was one of his best. Sexy, a believer who wanted something even he could not identify.
Lucien Carr was the back bone behind The Beatnik movement.
This was a power film, full of sexual tension with almost half its scenes, with escape right on the horizon but so far away, no one was going to win. And in the end, that is what really happened – they remained friends even after Joan’s death, while they all still remembered what they created
Said William Burroughs later in life: “I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never have become a writer but for Joan's death. I had no choice but to write my way out.”