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“The Rum Diary,” directed by Bruce Robinson, is based on the book written by Hunter S. Thompson in the late 1950s .

It details the journey of the rum-loving freelance journalist Paul Kemp.

Kemp, played by the well-respected Johnny Depp, is brilliant and sought-after but often finds himself in unfortunate situations due to his unbreakable hobby of hitting the bottle too hard.

The movie, which takes place in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has obvious potential, but seems to fall flat with its disconnected plot line.

The story shows Kemp journeying through a new city, writing for a local paper and striving to find his voice.

He quickly finds himself in a struggle with financial criminal Hal Sanderson played by actor Aaron Eckhart, who is scheming to illegally industrialize a small island and is seeking Kemp’s help.

Depp is taken out of his typical intensive role and put into the shoes of a man who is quiet, lost and scattered, but also intelligent and driven.

Depp, once again, proves that he can fully embody any character and does an accurate portrayal that feels raw and precise.

Unfortunately, the story seems to drift along without any real sense of direction that not even Depp can save.

On the other hand, the beautiful scenery, occasional humorous scenes, and abuse of booze and narcotics keep the story somewhat interesting.

Viewing the movie with a Puerto Rican native, I had direct confirmation that the film did an excellent job of accurately portraying the cities’ scenery, architecture and time-period, while also incorporating some local traditions such as the chicken-fights and the coqui frogs.

The scenery may have been accurate, but according to my friend, the film inaccurately made locals look animal-like and unstable.

Puerto Rico is not as dangerous as the film made it seem.

However, the cinematography was well done with interesting perspectives and imagery, and the films music fits in well with the locations and actions of each scene.

Some of the actors came off as cheesy and useless.

For example, one of the only female representations in the film was the strikingly glamorous Chenault, played by Amber Heard, who portrays a young girl from Connecticut who is dating Sanderson.

Depp instantly falls for Chenault’s slender figure and defined bone structure, but there is no depth whatsoever to Chenault’s character.

She is represented as a dependent, slutty, attention-seeking victim.

The overall message I got from the story is that Kemp ultimately learns what is truly important: finding his voice.

The movie dragged on and could have had a more telling ending but did incorporate some powerful punch lines.

In conclusion, the movie needed to be edited and restructured, and fell short of my expectations.

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