I have never thought about how long I have been in a movie theater until I saw director Bruce Robinson’s film, “The Rum Diary.” I could have graduated by the time this Hunter S. Thompson book adaptation ended.
The movie features Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp), who wakes up from a hangover, and decides to join The San Juan Star, an English newspaper in Puerto Rico during the 1960s. Although wearing cabana hats, drinking rum, gambling and smoking cigarettes sounds like a lot of fun, it really was the only thing enjoyable to watch in this film. It just takes too long for something to happen. By the time Kemp’s heroic attitude kicks in and he gets a chance to nail the so called “bad guys,” the movie has already ended.
Robinson is not really known for directing anything, so I do not understand why Depp agreed to make this movie.
Despite this, the film actually has a narrative you can follow, though rather slowly.
One thing that I did like about the movie was the character Chenault (Amber Heard). Heard was the perfect choice to play this character. She is beautiful, sexy, young and can really captured viewers’ interest. Chenault can be seen as the prototypical ‘60s woman. On the surface she may seem to be a socialite housewife, but underneath she is rebellious and wants independence. Throughout the movie she tries to get away from her fiance Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), to be with Kemp, and their love grows stronger for each other. But, like everything else in the movie, their relationship develops too slowly. On the other hand, this movie is not at all romantic because it focused on Kemp and his alcohol use.
“The Rum Diary” is the type of movie you should see if you want to feel nostalgic about the 1960s, and if you actually have patience to see what happens in the end.