Kill Your Darlings is a beige-saturated, 1940s-style romance in the form of a film about friendship and betrayal. Daniel Radcliffe plays esteemed poet Allen Ginsberg, who enters Columbia as a naive young man who hasn’t experienced much within the teenage world. He encounters an eccentric student with plenty of issues: Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), a rambunctious sort who had a quasi-affair with an older gentleman, David Karramer (Michael C. Hall). As we learn through fantasy sequences and subtle glances, Ginsberg is gay; he’s isolated by his roommate, a horny fellow. Carr believes Karramer is a sociopath, and still exploits the man’s love for him; that involves doing homework assignments, amongst other things. Ginsberg never opens up to Carr, but there’s a telling scene where they kiss and Carr plays along for a while. There’s far more homosexual leanings within this supposed womanizer than it seems. This is a stylishly executed, if slightly convoluted film near its conclusion. As everything unravels, the film breaks down its main characters with ease: Radcliffe and DeHaan are dynamic, versatile, and all-around enveloping. Kill Your Darlings is highly engaging, snazzy, lust-filled romance.
Grade: ★★★★ (out of 5)