Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas star Johnny Depp returns to the wild world of Hunter S. Thompson in writer/director Bruce Robinson's adaptation of the Gonzo journalist's "lost" autobiographical novel of the same name. Dejected over life in New York City and at bitter odds with the Eisenhower-era conventions of the 1950s, nomadic journalist Paul Kemp (Depp) flees to Puerto Rico, where he quickly lands a job as a reporter for a San Juan newspaper. Drawing inspiration from author Ernest Hemingway's popular theory about "The Lost Generation," the newly liberated journalist develops a taste for rum as he becomes slowly entangled in the lives of American beauty Chenault (Amber Heard) and her shady husband, Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), a wealthy real-estate developer. Later, as Sanderson's underhanded business dealings begin to emerge, Kemp's principles come into focus, and his writing style begins to mature in ways he never dreamed possible.~Jason Buchanan
A voice made of ink and rage: Inside The Rum Diary
Whether you’ve enjoyed the book (written by a young Hunter S. Thompson) or are simply a Johnny Depp fan, you’re bound to enjoy this flick. Although not a direct adaptation, the film certainly keeps the spirit of the source material and Depp channels his inner Thompson (having played the Gonzo journalist once before in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”) to help bring the story to life.
Depp plays Paul Kemp, an American journalist who moves to Puerto Rico to work for a dying Newspaper. Fueled by booze, and beautiful women, Kemp finds himself thrown into a world on the verge of revolution. He soon finds that greed, corruption, and commercialism have followed American businessman Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart) and his fiancée Chenault (Amber Heard) and he must decide between reaping the benefits of industry or preserving the nature of his new home.
Director and screenplay writer Bruce Robinson (Withnail and I), perfectly captures the beauty and manic chaos of Puerto Rico while also allowing Depp to breathe life into a script that is naturaclly adapted from Thompson’s first novel. A few notes here; if you’re looking for one of Depp’s wacky or “unique” performances here, you won’t get it. Conversely, if you’re looking for the same type of drug-induced craziness Depp portrayed in Fear and Loathing then again, look elsewhere. Instead, what he provides is a realistic look into the motivations of a man who can’t be bought or intimidated and chooses to fight back with his words. With solid performances from co-stars Michael Rispoli, Richard Jenkins, and Giovanni Ribisi, “The Rum Diary” serves as both an entertaining story and a testament to tale first penned by Thompson in his youth.
For those of you who don't know, this is based on the book of the same name written by Hunter S. Thompson. Although the main character has a different name, the book is somewhat autobiographical in nature, in that much of it is based on Thompson's actual early life experiences as a journalist. If you're on the fence about buying this movie, go ahead ........... "buy the ticket, take the ride" :-)
A Must-See for Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp!
"The Rum Diary" gives Hunter S. Thompson and Johnny Depp fans what they want. Depp gives a remarkable performance as Thompson's alter-ego Paul Kemp. Through many misadventures, most involving a copious amount of rum, Kemp learns to find his voice as a writer, journalist, and a chronicler of all things gonzo. It's a must-see for Thompson and Depp fans, but be warned - it's not "Fear and Loathing..."-esque. It's a different kind of Thompson - actually the beginning.