By Niya Sinckler
The film, Rum Diary directed by Bruce Robinson is a screenplay adaption of the autobiographical novel by legendary late author Hunter S. Thompson. When a reporter reaches a turning point in his life, he escapes to try and find himself in the Caribbean.
Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp), a hard drinking freelance journalist faces numerous challenges as he attempts to find his voice on his self-destructive path, while working for a local run-down newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1960.
Along the way, Kemp befriends a photographer at the San Juan Star, Sala (Michael Rispoli), who accompanies him on his many adventures.
Kemp also seduces Chenault (Amber Heard), a wildly attractive Connecticut born blonde who is the fiancée of Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart). Yet, Sanderson is an American real estate entrepreneur desperately determined to convert Puerto Rico into a capitalist hotel paradise.
Spending time on the impoverished island, Kemp is recruited by Sanderson to write about his plan. Over time, they develop a friendship that leads to Kemp realising the scheme of corruption and is faced with a decision which allows him to discover moral fiber.
Absolutely nothing in this film is done in moderation, with the spectacular performances in the mix of genres including action/adventure, comedy, drama, romance and thriller.
The film works to highlight Thompson’s view of the world. Although, it was written well and contains elements of today’s journalism, there is too much of a lunatic atmosphere and craft of Hollywood glamour. Unlike the novel, the film takes a lot of time for plot development. Only at the end of the film can the audience recognize the inspiration for generations to be truth seekers with ink and rage.