The Rum Diary

Friday 4th April 2014

Director: Bruce Robinson
Year: 2011
Stars: Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi

I wasn't sure exactly how much to expect from this movie. I had a suspicion that I wasn't going to enjoy it as much as I usually enjoy Johnny Depp movies - primarily because I knew it was, in some way, connected with Hunter S. Thompson, and I just don't get him. Or the fascination Johnny Depp seems to have with him.

Luckily, The Rum Diary was better than I was expecting. It tells the story of Paul Kemp (Depp), who is a novelist, but ends up as a reporter working for a newspaper in Puerto Rico in the 1960s. He's an alcoholic (as are all the other newspaper writers), but he's an alcoholic with morals.

The story is based on a book by Hunter S. Thompson, and for the most part is an enjoyable enough tale. The pity comes with the ending, which doesn't so much go out with a bang as just sort of fade away in a "well, life goes on, doesn't it?" shrug. I have a suspicion this is the fault of the filmmakers, rather than the novelist, as the postscript tells us what happens to Paul Kemp after he leaves Puerto Rico.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.