The Rum Diary

The Rum Diary


Cast: Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart and Amber Heard
Director: Bruce Robinson
Writers: Bruce Robinson (screenplay), Hunter S. Thompson (novel)
Genre: Comedy/Drama

Based on the debut novel by Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary tells the increasingly unhinged story of itinerant journalist Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp).

Tiring of the noise and madness of New York and the crushing conventions of late Eisenhower-era America, Kemp travels to the pristine island of Puerto Rico to write for a local newspaper, The San Juan Star, run by downtrodden editor Lotterman (Richard Jenkins).

Adopting the rum-soaked life of the island, Paul soon becomes obsessed with Chenault (Amber Heard), the wildly attractive Connecticut-born fiancée of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart). Sanderson, a businessman involved in shady property development deals, is one of a growing number of American entrepreneurs who are determined to convert Puerto Rico into a capitalist paradise in service of the wealthy.

When Kemp is recruited by Sanderson to write favorably about his latest unsavory scheme, the journalist is presented with a choice: to use his words for the corrupt businessmens financial benefit, or use them to take the bastards down.

Verdict: The Rum Diary is based on eccentric writer, Hunter S. Thompson's novel's and tells the story of Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) a journalist who arrives in Puerto Rico to work for newspaper. Kemp lands the job of writing a piece on local businessman, Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) who desires to turn Puerto Rico into a "capitalist paradise in service of the wealthy". Whilst researching Sanderson, Paul becomes intrigued by his partner Chenault (Amber Heard) and falls into a chaos of drugs rum.

The particular scene that caught my attention was when a heavily influenced Kemp comes across a lobster in a fish tank and holds a conversation with this sea creature that enables him to understand the meaning of the world and later inspires him to write.

Johnny Depp held the film; he was superb in his role of Paul Kemp and exceeded my expectations even though the plot seemed to be rather random.
It is impossible to classify the film; it was almost a comedy, almost a romance, almost an action movie and almost a drug movie but overall there was no clear genre or classification.

The Rum Diary's is for you if you enjoy Hunter S. Thompson, witty one-liners and drug-related storylines. Make sure you keep your eyes on the screen as the themes can be a little jumpy at times (maybe because of all the Rum…)

Rating: ***
-Jordan Rizkallah



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