I’ve been a big J.D. Salinger fan ever since I read Catcher In the Rye during my first year of college. When I learned how he turned his back on the world, receded into a private world of his own, it only intrigued me more.
I tore through the rest of his published works, fell in love with his short story collection Nine Stories, and even scoured the internet for the magazine stories he published and has tried to keep out of the public eye. I couldn’t get enough.
So when I heard about the new documentary by Shane Salerno entitled Salinger, I was beyond excited.
It somehow made its way to Netflix quickly after release, and once I noticed, I devoured the film and all of the bits and pieces it dangled before my eyes.
Although there were a lot of great moments, stories, anecdotes, and new photos of Mr. Salinger, the film started at a fevered pitch holding a lot of promise, but alas, ended in a disappointing fart noise.
The film never delves deeper than the superficial, and really never gives us a better idea of why Salinger lived the way he did. The big revelation at the end landed with a thud. Speculation on his instructions for the posthumous publishing of his works and the titles and content of these future books, felt to be entirely fabricated by the filmmakers. And although they assure us the information has been corroborated by two mystery sources, It still carries the stink of bullshit. I left the film disappointed.
Do yourself a favor, and pick up one of his four books (Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters and Seymour: an Introduction.) instead of watching the movie.