Dough is a sweet British comedy that explores identity, religion and inter-generational friendships against the backdrop of an ordinary neighbourhood, which is losing its identity to big businesses. Some may find the movie a little too clichéd, but it will leave others with a warm, fuzzy feeling and offers more than a few laughs.
Nat (Jonathan Price) is an ageing Jewish baker whose business is suffering as his customers die, move or abandon his shop for the chain store next door. Ayyash (Jerome Holder) is a Muslim refugee who wants to sell weed so he can make a better life for himself and his mother. This unlikely duo are brought together when Ayyash’s mother gets him a job as Nat’s baking assistant. They don’t exactly see eye to eye at first, but when Nat’s business suddenly becomes an overnight success they develop a touching father and son-style friendship. Little does Nat know, however, that the secret ingredient to his success isn’t exactly legal.
Viewers will definitely have to suspend their disbelief with Dough. The film is in part a stoner comedy, but one has to question if the writing team actually knows anything about the drug in question. The idea of people unsuspectingly eating weed-infused bread – which makes them dance around, rekindle their relationships, have “the best game of Bridge ever” and line up around the block for more – is certainly entertaining, and it will make audiences laugh out loud more than once, but it’s not exactly realistic.
The film does include a few tired tropes such as the standard big business villain who wants to shut down the little guy, the unexpected friendship that bridges cultural divides, and justice, which is served a little too perfectly. The music score is pleasant enough, but it does becomes a bit sickly sweet at times. Dough does, however, explore British diversity and, whilst the message of religious and racial tolerance may be a little preachy for some, this movie gives its characters a voice and an agency, which is still often missing from mainstream cinema.
Dough is a funny, wacky but ultimately touching film, which features some excellent acting from both stars. It also has some very insightful moments that, in the midst of all the madness, touch on some very real issues. It may not win any Oscars, but it could be just what movie lovers need to cheer up after a long day in the real world.
Dough is released nationwide on 2nd June 2017.
Watch the trailer for Dough here: