Hard-drinking journalist Paul Kemp takes a job at a besieged newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico. His volatile editor, Lotterman, assigns him to tourist pieces and horoscopes, but promises more. Paul rooms with Sala, an aging and equally alcoholic reporter, in a rundown flat. Sanderson, a wealthy entrepreneur, hires Paul to flack for a group of investors who plan to buy an island near the capital and build a resort. Sanderson's girl-friend, the beguiling Chenault, bats her eyes at Paul. His loyalties face challenges when he and Sala get in trouble with locals, when a Carnival dance enrages Sanderson, and when the paper hits the skids. Is the solution always alcohol? Written by
I have read the book and this movie holds true to the voice that Thompson writes with - this is what makes the movie works. Depp's role, unsurprisingly, mimics his portrayal of Hunter in Fear and Loathing (only with less drugs, not counting alcohol).
The movie can, realistically, be summed up in one "revelation" Depp's character has with a rather unusual counterpart. Throughout the film we see examples of the opulent lifestyle of few and downtrodden livings of the many.
What Depp confides with his "friend", allows us to use what we have learned up to that point in the movie and chew on for the remainder of the movie, is this - the banks hold the wealth while leaving us (and the starving children) to stare at empty brass plates hanging on their front doors. Whether you agree with it or not, this is not a stretch to compare with the "occupy" movement settling into America and around Europe today.
This movie is good. Much like the original book, this movie doesn't try to entertain the viewer; it allows the viewer to sit back and follow along as one man experiences a lifetime of ups and downs in a matter of weeks. And be prepared to go out for a drink afterward, you'll need it.
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