A great period film about HST in Puerto Rico, 1959. Apparently too complex & layered for most people, but definitely a 5 star movie. Essentially, it's the story of Hunter Thompson's evolution from a hack reporter into the legendary literary force he later became.
While it would be impossible to fully translate HST's genius to the screen, The Rum Diary succeeds in capturing the very darkly humorous spirit of the book & the characters much better than the Fear & Loathing movie, which was just too bizarre & over the top. This movie has both feet in the real world & as a result is far more important.
Excellent, intelligent script & solid performances from Depp, Jenkins, Ribisi, Rispoli, Eckhart, Heard, et al. Ribisi especially good as a dissipated but defiant roué. The characters are very three-dimensional, full of passion & purpose. The direction is especially good. Every shot beautifully set up. Wonderful, vividly realized sets & ambiance of 1959 Puerto Rico.
All in all, a powerful & complex movie that has a lot going on between the lines & bears watching more than once.