The “odd couple” is a tried and true formula when crafting a compelling story. In that vein, “Dough,” through a series of unfortunate events, pairs an old, white, widowed Jewish baker with a young black Muslim millennial from Darfur. See, Nat, played by Jonathan Pryce, is a second generation owner of a financially strapped kosher bakery in a rough part of London. Many of his Jewish clients have moved away and his assistant has taken a job with a nearby competitor owned by a greedy developer with designs on the kosher bakery. When Nat’s cleaning woman suggests he hire her mischievous son Ayyash (Jerome Holder) as his new assistant, the set up is complete.
Next we add in some special, accidentally marijuana-infused challahs, a violent drug lord, the local constabulary, a son that looks down on his father’s humble trade, pot-head hipsters, old Jews eating hash brownies during Mahjong, Nat’s adoring grand daughter, Ayyash’s goofy friends – and place all that on top of the usual shenanigans that ensue whenever religious Muslims and Jews get together and you’re left with a movie that, while ultimately predictable, still manages to entertain and present viewers with a valuable message about the rewards of tolerance and coexistence.
“Dough” is ultimately a fun and often heartwarming movie – if only the trials, tribulations and ultimate victory of Nat and Ayyash’s relationship could be reproduced in the real world.
Menemsha films has just released the Blu-ray and DVD of “Dough” with Bonus Features that include Introduction from Pauline Collins, The Baking of Dough, Improv with the Cast as well as Deleted Scenes. These can be purchased from the Menemsha films store.