Dough (2015) Movie Review

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Dough (2015) Movie Review

How could a film about cannabis infused loaves helping break down religious and cultural barriers possibly go wrong? A heart-warming attempt at displaying the world through rose-tinted glasses.

Picture the scene, a quaint little bakery run by a Jewish widower. Insert a new employee in the form of a young Muslim apprentice who, despite needing some guidance on the straight and narrow, decides to mix some character into the bakery in the form of good old marijuana. Unbeknown to the owner and his customers this new batch becomes a hit, and the adventures between the two escalate from there. Now, while this may all sound like a storyline you've probably debated with your mates while enjoying a few cannabis edibles, this is, in fact, the basic premise of the 2015 film Dough.

However, does the film rise to the challenge of being smart as well as funny, or are we left unsurprised by the outcome? With a tagline reading, “Not just the bread's getting baked” I think you can see where this film is going...

THE PREMISE

Chucking cannabis into the mix, quite literally, usually ends up a somewhat clichéd and predictable affair. Unfortunately for Dough it does panda to these stereotypes. It does, however, do so in a heart-warming and likable manner. Bordering on the edge of being a touch too idealistic, it uses the success that the cannabis infused products bring to help bond the two central characters. The Jewish widower who owns the failing bakery, Nat Dayan (played by Jonathan Pryce) and the Muslim immigrant from Africa, Ayyash (played by Jerome Holder) could not be from more opposing ends of the cultural spectrum.

Their relationship is handled in a comedic manner, looking to use the power of fun and wit to bring together what on paper is two very different beliefs. This never feels too contrived though and while I'm sure it would take more than some cannabis-laced loaves to bring together these two religions it never takes itself too seriously. Best summed up by one of the characters in the film, “Race and religion are irrelevant. If you're a dickhead, then you're a dickhead”. This is the real heart of the film, allowing both main characters to use each other to overcome their own personal battles despite religion often being seen as a barrier. There is a lot to be said for this theme given current world affairs, even if it is a touch too self-indulgent.

BY THE BOOK

The rest of the film remains a predictable and expected affair. Our much-loved herb plays its stereotypical role. Ayyash uses it as a means of earning extra money, dealing with his dim-witted friends before accidentally mixing it into the dough at the bakery and realizing the potential money it could bring. Ayyash even convinces Nat to introduce a new range to the bakery in the form of brownies. Honestly, it feels a little like the writers read a government pamphlet on cannabis in society. It is how I imagine your Nan sees cannabis use, and while it does openly laugh at itself, the film seems based on an image of cannabis that has long since passed.

The remaining cast all provide their usual distractions and mediocre performances. Even down to the tyrannical property owner that wants to redevelop the area the bakery is built in. It is your standard slightly slapstick baddie, complete with an anime-esque laugh when he feels he has the upper hand. From start to finish the film plays out in a fashion we have all seen before. While some of the more intimate moments between Nat and Ayyash will leave you with that warm feeling inside each situation and drama plays out much as you would expect, rather than throwing out the rule book with this film the writers have stuck firmly to it.

IN SUMMARY

Overall it is still an enjoyable watch and does provide some decent laughs. The performance from Jonathan Pryce clearly outshines the rest of the cast, and while it is nice to see the use of cannabis as a tool to break down the barriers both in religion and culture, it is just too rose-tinted to be truly believable. But, if you are sitting on your couch, joint in hand, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is a fun movie, pure and simple.

 

         
  Lucas  

Written by: Lucas
Lucas is a part-time writer and full-time visionary. An anonymous psychonaut blending into society with his suit and tie, he works to bring evidence-based rationality to the masses.

 
 
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