Jerry Cutler On Film—‘Dough’ Fails To Rise On A Promising Premise
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2016 – 6:26 PM
In Dough, Jonathan Pryce (Nat Dayan) stars as an Orthodox Jewish owner of a generational owned kosher bakery based in London’s East End. Times are difficult and while the bakery’s “dough” is plentiful, the dough needed for living expenses is not. One day a faithful Muslim young man, Ayyash (Jerome Holder), at his mother’s behest, answers Dayan’s “help wanted” sign.
Not pleased with the prospect of a Muslim working with him in his kosher bakery, Dayan reluctantly agrees to try him out.
Unbeknownst to his new employer, Ayyash, hoping to move his hard working mother from their broken down, impoverished apartment, sells marijuana on the side. Then, one day, the obvious to any moviegoer over age 12 happens.
Ayyash accidentally drops his stash of the weed into the dough. When the finished Sabbath challas come out of the oven, they have been transformed into the most edible, delicious and irresistible twists of sacramental bread ever baked. Soon, the goods fly off the shelves making for the best and happiest Sabbath the Jewish community ever had. Before long, lines form around the block for Dayan’s baked goods. Business has never been this good.
The ceiling in Ayyash’s decadent apartment finally gives in and makes the living quarters uninhabitable. Nowhere to turn, he asks Dayan for permission to move in with him. Dayan reluctantly agrees and gives Ayyash and his mother a decent roof over their heads. The two cultures collide, but the film doesn’t follow its perfect setup and brings in another subplot turning the feel good movie into one of stupid gangsters and greedy people.
Pryce, an accomplished and award-winning actor who can be seen in HBO’s Game Of Thrones, is convincing in his characterization of an observant Jew. Holder, his young Muslim apprentice, is equally effective. However, the script and sub-par direction do them in. It’s a shame. Who knows, the prospect of Muslims and Jews living together in harmony could have been habit forming.
2 Bagels out of 4
Jerry Cutler is rabbi at Creative Arts Temple.
Dough is playing at Laemmle theaters: Playhouse 7, 673 E Colorado Blvd,. Pasadena, (310) 478-3836; Royal Theatre, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.,(310) 478-0401; Town Center 5, 7200 Ventura Blvd, #121, Encino (818) 981-9811