While “Dough” might find some fans amongst the 420-friendly crowd, this enemies-united-against-a-common enemy, is a dubious mix of standards and attitudes that don’t make for a satisfying film feast.
An old Jewish baker Nat Dayan (Jonathan Pryce) runs the bakery, Dayan & Son, in a low-rent part of London that was founded his father, but his lawyer son (Daniel Caltagirone) will not be carrying on the business. Nat’s assistant quits and leaves Nat in a bind.
Ayyash (Jerome Holder) is a young fatherless Muslim immigrant from Africa who makes money by dealing drugs. The father is out of the picture, but in Africa. His mother cleans up Nat’s bakery. She sees an opportunity for Ayyash to learn a trade and convinces Nat to take him on as an apprentice.
That doesn’t make Ayyash stop dealing and gives Ayyash a good cover job, making his drug dealer boss (Ian Hart) happy as well. One day, Ayyash does more than sell packets of marijuana with baked goods; he puts marijuana in the dough. That secret ingredient makes people happy and increases business. Some of the customers know what their getting; others do not.
The sudden success puts a damper on the plans of a developer, Cotton (Philip Davis) who wants to buy out the business owner, the flirtatious Joanna (Pauline Collins) and to buy out the remaining five years Nat has on his lease contract. He wants to build big, and wipe out the small shops in a move toward gentrification.
You can probably already see where this is going. You probably didn’t need to read this review to know Ayyash and Nat would have their spats and yet finally find a happy ending. Jewish man and Muslim man will find harmony and help each other.
Big business, including the drug business, is the common enemy and Ayyash’s involvement with criminal activity are explained away as what else could he do? That might not be so convincing for some. Being credible doesn’t get in the way of a happy ending. “Dough” opened Friday at the Pasadena Laemmle Playhouse 7.