Watch Rebel in the Rye
- 1 hr 46 min
"Rebel in the Rye" is a biographical drama film, that released in 2017, directed and written by Danny Strong. The movie is based on the book "J.D. Salinger: A Life" by Kenneth Slawenski, and it portrays the life of the American author J.D. Salinger, who is widely known for his novel "The Catcher in the Rye". The film shows the development of Salinger's character, his struggles, and how he became one of the most prominent figures in American literature. The movie primarily follows the life of Salinger, played by Nicholas Hoult, as he navigates through his years in New York City, his time in World War II, and his subsequent rise to fame as a writer. It shows how his experiences during the war had a profound effect on him, leading him to struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Throughout the film, there are flashbacks and scenes of Salinger's time in school, where he developed his love for writing. His relationships with his family and friends are also explored in the movie. In particular, the audience sees the influence of his mentor Whit Burnett, played by Kevin Spacey, who founded "Story" magazine, and who helped Salinger refine his craft. As Salinger becomes successful with the release of "The Catcher in the Rye", the film examines the overwhelming response and controversy surrounding the novel. The movie takes a closer look at the reasons why "The Catcher in the Rye" became so successful and why it continues to remain relevant. The movie also reveals the reason why Salinger later decided to avoid the public eye and went into seclusion. The plot examines his criticism of the literary establishment after the publication of the novel and how it provoked him to live a more secluded life. This led to his eventual departure from the spotlight, and the film explores his decision to stop publishing material publicly. The character portrayal of J.D. Salinger by Nicholas Hoult is gripping, and he does an excellent job of depicting the author's complex emotions throughout the film. Hoult captures Salinger's sensitive nature and his torment after the war, and given the nature of Salinger's personality, Hoult manages to be both charming and convincing. Kevin Spacey, who plays the mentor, is also great in the role. His character of Whit Burnett is not only the intellectual influence in Salinger's life, but he is also supportive of Salinger's PTSD struggles while helping him navigate the literary circuit. Spacey plays the character with the right amount of toughness and sympathy to create a nuanced depiction of Salinger's mentor. Victor Garber gives an excellent performance as Sol Salinger, J.D. Salinger's father, a man seeking to maintain control over his son's life. He is a rigid disciplinarian who is determined to mold his son into a businessman, leaving no room for the creative spirit of the young Salinger. Garber is convincing in portraying the selfishness and controlling nature of Sol Salinger. Overall, "Rebel in the Rye" is a well-crafted film that provides a deep insight into the life of a great author who has left an indelible mark on American literature. The film does an excellent job of portraying Salinger's sensitive and vulnerable side, and it does not shy away from depicting his flaws and mistakes. The movie is a must-watch for literature enthusiasts, and it is also an excellent portrayal of the struggles of post-war veterans in readjusting to civilian life.