02nd Jun2017

‘Dough’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Jonathan Pryce, Jerome Holder, Phil Davis, Ian Hart, Pauline Collins, Andrew Ellis, Malachi Kirby, Natasha Gordon, Melanie Freeman | Written by Jonathan Benson, Jez Freedman | Directed by John Goldschmidt

dough-poster

It has to be said that 2017 hasn’t been the best year when it comes to feeling good about the world. When everybody seems to be against helping out others, it seems timely that a film about two cultures coming together should at least raise a smile, and Dough manages this.

When aging Jewish baker Nat Dyan (Jonathan Pryce) takes on young Muslim Ayyash (Jerome Holder) as apprentice in his shop, at first, they don’t get on. When Ayyash accidentally drops cannabis into the bakery’s dough the bakery becomes very popular, building a bond between the two.

Dough walks a well-trodden path of movies where two people with differences are brought together when prejudices are taken away and friendship blooms. What makes Dough different though is the bringing together of an old set in his ways Jewish baker and a Muslim immigrant who is at a turning point in his life.

Jerome Holder’s performance as Ayyash manages to make the audience sympathise for him, but also see the negativity in his actions. When we first meet him, he is on the wrong side of the law, actually looking to work for a drug dealer. He only takes the job at the bakery as a way to hide the fact he will be making money from drugs. Thankfully though he sees the error in his ways, through the bond he finds with Dyan.

Jonathan Pryce is one of those actors that is always dependable in any role he is given, and plays the character of Nat Dyan well. Stuck in a bakery that is nearing closure, with Sam Cotton (Phil Davis) waiting to finally buy him out, if anything it is stubborn resistance that keeps him going through the days.

Where Dough tends to weaken its message is that the world in which the film inhabits is full of negative people, and it does pull the film down. It is the friendship between the two main characters though that shows that good can still shine through, though in a simplistic way.

This is probably where Dough does struggle, in the way that it is simplistic in the way it tells its story. The fact it includes a heist to enter Sam Cotton’s office really does push the limits of where the film can go. If you just decide to go with it though and enjoy it for what it is, Dough doesn’t let you down. It manages to tell a story where two people from different communities can look beyond their own prejudices and actually get along.

Dough is on limited release across the UK from today, and while it isn’t the best at what it does, it still does its job well enough to be entertaining. We need some feel good movies in a time when a lot of hatred is being thrown around, and if you are looking for a little movie that brings some good-natured fun, then Dough is definitely worth the watch.

**** 4/5

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek
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