I was given the opportunity to screen The Rum Diary and I must say I was excited because I’m a big Hunter S Thompson fan but then I heard that this movie has been held for release over a year now so I was a little worried before watching it. I can honestly say after viewing the movie this is a film I definitely would watch again and if you love Hunter S. Thompson’s work this film will not disappoint.
The only problem I perceive that people who have read the book may have with the film is the character of Sanderson. As you recall in the book Paul Kemp and Sanderson actually represent the dueling persona’s of Hunter, one being a boozer who is anti-authority the other more of a cutthroat athletic type. Johnny Depp plays more to the character being a young Hunter S. Thompson and combines the characteristics of both into Kemp. So some adaptation purests may have a problem with this, but I assure you by playing it this way Johnny Depp made a better film by giving the audience a protagonist you’re able to root for while making a strong antagonist viewers will believably dislike.
Johnny Depp should win an award for this performance because it was dead on. Bruce Robinson did an excellent job in writing the script and creating a Hollywood type happy ending instead of preserving the bleak hopelessness of the book. I’m betting this film gets at the very least some nominations during awards season.