I admit, I’m a total sucker for any film focussed on literature and the freedom of speech. I also admit that because of that I could be rating this film a bit high, but it is not without merit. This is the riveting story of one Allen Ginsberg and his little poem called “Howl”. The poem that ushered in a stronger acceptance of quote-unquote “vulgar” literature, and assured during our nations’ censor craze that freedom of speech would endure. The film, the screenplay, and the acting all give life to the trial in which these events unfold in an interesting and though-provoking way.
The film is edited between 3-4 different aspects of this case. In many movies this would become cluttered and make a mess of the story it was trying to portray. While this does happen from time to time in the film it recovers well in the end and it never allows those moments to become boring. It doesn’t hold anything back from this story which only works in advancing the plot because it shows the raw side of these characters in cases where another film would’ve covered up. It shows both sides of the trial in a way which makes the audience develop their own opinions. It’s a trial and lesson we should never forget as a free country.
Needless to say I loved it, and really could write a whole paper on the literary references and techniques used in the story which are immense.