Dom Hemingway Review

Dom Hemingway

Carpe diem.

It’s one of those sayings folk will hollowly parrot when dishing out advice, even though they don’t live their own lives this way.

Well, Dom Hemingway ain’t one of these people.

Even when he’s banged up inside for getting caught cracking safes, Dom Hemingway seizes the day.

As well as the long hair of some of his less than fortunate inmates it would seem, as when we’re introduced to Dom via some majestic monologuing, one of them on their knees with the pleasure of servicing Dom’s regal sceptre.

And if I ever get sent to prison, I might finally take my dad’s long standing advice and get my hair cut.

Anyway, twelve years after being locked up, Dom finally gets the call from the powers that be and is back on his east London streets.

Having spent over a decade at her majesty’s pleasure, it really is time for Dom to seize the day.

And he starts by seizing an old friend who married the woman formerly known as Mrs Hemingway, and beating the living daylights out of him.

Looks like Dom’s going to find it hard to give up those recidivist ways of his.

After reacquainting himself with some old friends as well as a few of the finer things in life prison can’t offer a man, also known as drugs and women, Dom decides it’s time for some payback.

Having kept his mouth schtum while inside, Dom and his former partner in crime Dickie pay a visit to their old boss who’s made considerable hay while Dom’s been inside.

But sometimes this carpe diem lark carries some unexpected consequences, and Dom has plenty of these to shoulder after biting the hand that used to feed him.

Dom Hemingway is a curious sort of film that I’m guessing would never have reached the big screen without the alpha acting weight of Jude Law being thrown behind it.

Essentially a series of loosely interconnected vignettes about a larger than life thief rebuilding his shattered world after spending far too long away from it, Dom Hemingway doesn’t really work as a film for me.

I like most of the individual chapters within it, and there’s plenty of dark humour to enjoy, but these never really fit together seamlessly enough to make you buy into the story Dom Hemingway tries to sell.

As if to prove this point, most of these chapters are introduced with short quotes so the audience understands why Dom’s doing whatever he’s going to do next.

So thank fuck for Jude Law’s compelling performance that makes sure you stay interested in the story of this charmless man.

Never having been a fan of Law’s earlier roles, I heart the British actor more and more these days for the brave and increasingly nuanced roles he chooses to play.

And he’s easily the best thing about Dom Hemingway.

Actually, make that the second best thing after Madalina Ghenea in a largely gratuitous role; though I’m sure a man like Jude wouldn’t mind coming off second best to his ridiculously beautiful co-star.

Hell, given his track record, I’d be disappointed if Law didn’t try to seize the day with her.

Jonathan Campbell

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November 2013
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