THE RUM DIARY,

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

Now show­ing State Cinema Depp raises a glass:

AS a proud fan­boy and staunch friend of the late Hunter S. Thompson, Johnny Depp con­tin­ues his cru­sade to keep the in­flu­en­tial work of the cel­e­brated Amer­i­can ‘‘ gonzo’’ writer on the pedestal it de­serves.

In The Rum Diary, a re­spect­fully dis­re­spect­ful adap­ta­tion of a lesser- known salvo from the Thompson canon, Depp ( pic­tured) plays Paul Kemp, a young news­pa­per­man on a round­about path to fame and for­tune in the early 1960s.

Both a heavy drinker and a deep thinker, Kemp ( es­sen­tially an ide­alised ver­sion of the younger Hunter S.) finds plenty of rea­sons to do both once he lands on the US- run is­land of Puerto Rico.

Be­hind its cheesy fa­cade as a tourist idyll, the Puerto Rico seen here is the ex­act kind of hot­bed of hypocrisy in which Thompson would fa­mously cool his heels through­out his ca­reer.

Though beau­ti­fully filmed and ef­fec­tively acted, The Rum Diary does not have much of a story to tell.

If any­thing, it is a mood piece de­signed to get us in­side Thompson’s head for a while. On this level, the film works quite well. The irrational world view of Thompson makes per­fectly log­i­cal sense as it is rep­re­sented here.

It is only when The Rum Diary ab­sent­mind­edly mucks about with a sketchy lovers’ tri­an­gle in­volv­ing Kemp, an icy femme fa­tale ( Am­ber Heard) and her rich boyfriend ( Aaron Eck­hart) that pro­ceed­ings get de­cid­edly or­di­nary.

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