Dough tells the story of African immigrant Ayyash Habimana, Jerome Holder (Honeytrap, The Sparticle Mystery (TV)), who, along with his mother Safa, Natasha Gordon (Various UK TV Parts), are in London trying to get on with their lives.
Safa has found work as a cleaner at a local Jewish bakery run by Nat Dayan, Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean, Brazil), and soon Ayyash ends up working there too as an apprentice baker. This isn’t enough for Ayyash though, who wants to earn more cash, and so begins selling weed from the bakery for a local drug-dealer and, when some of it finds its way into the baked goods, sales soar as people are themselves, baked.
There’s a simple summation to be said about Dough which is that it’s a perfectly fine, nice, funny film. Jonathan Pryce is wonderful as the grumpy Jewish baker who desperately wants his son to take over from him but his son is instead, a hot-shot lawyer.
Jerome is fine as Ayyash, he doesn’t bring quite the depth or emotion that perhaps you’d expect from the role but he is good at being nice and that goes with the film. Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine, Quartet) is brilliant as the owner of the building the bakery is in and the love interest for Nat, she pursuing him it should be said. The chemistry between her and Pryce is wonderful.
However, despite Dough’s intention to say something about immigration or racism, it’s so nice about it all, that it ends up saying very little. It also has a tendency, despite a relatively short hour-and-a-half run time, to drag its heels at times.
The laughs that one would expect from a film whereby weed ends up in a bakeries goods don’t really manifest. We see a few scenes of people laughing and dancing about as their aches and pains have gone but otherwise, it passes us by. Both Pryce and Collins do have some fun lines, Collins particularly when faced with the ‘evil-one’ in the film, local entrepreneur Phil Davis (Alien 3, Mr. Holmes) who wants to buy the shop and turn it into a car park, comes out with “race and religion are irrelevant. If you’re a dickhead, then you’re a dickhead”.
The problem is the laughs are few and far between, the pacing slow and it all feels a little flat. Like it needed more yeast. But, but, there is something quite endearing about the whole thing and it’s not a terrible hardship to watch if, for nothing else, Pauline Collins showing them all how it’s done.
Dough is released in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on the 2nd June 2017.