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The Rum Diary

One part outrage. One part justice. Three parts rum. Mix well. 

Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Bruce Robinson 
Starring: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Aaron Eckhart  
An image from The Rum Diary

After many years of development-hell, The Rum Diary is finally brought to the big screen. Plus, thanks to Johnny Depp’s insistence, it is in the capable hands of the ever- witty Bruce ‘Withnail and I’ Robinson.

Taking on the sun, sex and screwball life of Puerto Rico in the 1950’s, American journalist Paul Kemp has never known a life as eccentric and thrilling as this. In complete Hunter S Thompson fashion, the film looks at the maniacal side of life and the crazed effects of drink and drugs with hilarious diction and direction.

For those unaware of the gonzo journalist, Hunter S Thompson lived a mad life of drinking, drug-taking and writing. The Rum Diary is the third big screen adaptation of his work (the most famous being the cult-hit, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and his exploits are in dire need of cinematic-refreshment. Depp continues his perfect portrayal of the free-spirited Thompson (Kemp just being an alias) and is joined by an assorted cast, perfect in embodying the motley crew of characters that appear in any HST story. As much as any film can help you escape, The Rum Diary certainly will propel you into a foreign land; literally and symbolically. The film illustrates the drama of life in Puerto Rico along with the surreal elements of its environment seen through the eyes of completely inebriated characters.

Fans of Johnny Depp will take pleasure in seeing another wacky personality entered into the cinematic spectrum, whilst those who adore the work of Hunter S Thompson will take solace in seeing a brilliantly crafted story lovingly adapted.

Piers McCarthy

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Spring Term (35mm)