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The Rum Diary

February 17, 2012

“You’re high you fool. Drink some rum!”

The Rum Diary has been described as rambling, disjointed and undisciplined. I agree but how can a movie about Hunter S. Thompson be cohesive? This is a film about how he drunkenly (before the drugs) found his gonzo voice.

The movie loosely/drunkenly centers around Depp working for a newspaper in Puerto Rico. A rich American businessman (Aaron Eckhart) pays him to write favorable articles about his property schemes. Along the way he meets an attractive mess played by Amber Heard.

Depp also mingles with his excellent acting co-workers Giovanni Ribisis, Michael Rispoli and Richard Jenkins.

The movie meanders through car chases, acid trips and lots of rum. The plot is loose and Depp relaxed. The problem is that they stick too close to the source material. When a movie meanders it is hard to engage the audience. You follow the plot but you remain on the outside looking in. The film should have flown like a breeze but instead treads the line of monotonous.

The movie is sitting at 50% on Rotten Tomatoes which is a fair assessment. The movie works somewhat. By the time the Thompson finds his voice it feels inconsequential.This was an important chapter in Hunter’s life but it carries none of the impact of the similar Che centered The Motorcycle Diaries.

Watch this film. Drink some Rum, lose your attention span, appreciate what the film was going for.

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