Film Review: ‘For No Good Reason’

Film Review: ‘For No Good Reason’
Ralph Steadman, the painter, illustrator, longtime Rolling Stone contributor and Hunter S. Thompson foil, was not a typical 20th-century art figure. In “For No Good Reason,” director Charlie Paul attempts to construct a fittingly off-center documentary study, and while the effort is admirable, the result is a bit unwieldy, casting too wide a net to really plumb its subject’s depths, and defanging some of Steadman’s acid wit with an overly busy, hit-and-miss aesthetic approach. The film is hardly without its pleasures, however, and should attract fair attention through its Sony Classics release.

Though it incorporates archival footage, reams of photographs and seemingly limitless selections of the artist’s alternately lurid, provocative and hilarious work, the film is largely shot on Steadman’s country estate, with Johnny Depp serving as a sort of tour guide, narrator and slightly boozy interlocutor. Depp’s presence makes sense in theory — in addition
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