DOUGH

Reviewed by Carol Kaufman Segal

 


Dough is a film written by Jonathan Benson and Jez Freedman and directed by John Goldschmidt. It stars award-winning actor Jonathan Pryce who has the capability of successfully portraying characters of different ethnicities.

In the film, Price plays widower Nat Dayan who is the owner of a Kosher Bakery, Dayan & Son, in East London. Son, in this instance, refers to Nat who worked with his father and continued to run the bakery after his demise. It is his wish that his son take over the bakery, but his son is a successful lawyer with no desire to work or run the bakery.

The neighborhood is changing, the business is not going so well, and his son wishes that his father would sell the bakery and retire. A neighborhood market owned by rival Sam Cotton (Philip David), plans to add a bakery department in his store and put Nat out-of-business altogether. Nat is desperate to find a new helper or, otherwise, he may have to close down.

Nat’s cleaning lady, Safa, a Muslim woman learns that Nat is looking for an apprentice. Safa happens to have a young son, Ayyash (Jerome Holder), and she pleads with Nat to give her son a chance to work with him. Unbeknownst to Safa, Ayyash has been in touch with the local drug kingpin, Victor (Ian Hart), wanting to deal drugs to earn money so that he can better life for himself and his mother. But Victor will only hire people who have jobs as cover-up for their illegal activities.

Ayyash begins apprenticing for Nat, and by doing so, Victor hires him, as well, to distribute marijuana. Ayyash begins selling “special” bagel and bread orders with “extra poppy seeds” that begin to enhance Nat’s business. One day he accidentally spills the marijuana from the packet into the bread dough that he was mixing. Suddenly everyone wants to buy challah from the Dayan & Son Bakery. The lines are forming outside as customers fight to purchase the bread! Business is booming!

Nat and Ayyash begin formulating a close relationship until the day the police drop by the bakery to call on Ayyash, who panics and drops his packet of marijuana on the floor as he was about to put it on the bread dough that was in the oven. When Sam Cotton drops by the bakery to see what is causing such a run for Nat’s Challah, he accidentally spies the marijuana on the floor in front of the oven.

Things look bad for Nat etal. But this is a story about how a religious Jew, an old man, and a devout Muslim, a young boy, are able to formulate a loving relationship despite their disparate backgrounds. Therefore, you can expect that the “bad guys” will lose out, and the “good guys” will win. Jonathan Pryce and Jerome Holder can easily win your heart with their performances.

Playing at the Laemmle Royal, Pasadena Playhouse 7, and Encino Town Center 5.

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