Review: Blood Diamond
Set in the late 1990's during a civil war in Sierra Leon Africa, a mercenary who smuggles diamonds for firearms and a fisherman who was separated from his family and was forced into slavery working in the diamond fields, become unexpected allies. The two meet in prison and join together in an attempt to retrieve a very big diamond that could help the fisherman get his family back and give the mercenary a second chance to get the hell outta dodge".
This movie was a real eye opener. I'm guessing that part of the message of the story was to bring awareness to the blood diamond conflict that's happening in Africa, and it worked, as I was intrigued the whole way through. We see the detailed infrastructure that surrounds the operation of the blood diamond trade, which is pretty horrific, but I think the worst part was watching these kids that are barely ten years old being abducted. Then after their abduction, they're drugged and brainwashed into becoming soldiers for these leaders that are homicidal maniacs. It's very shocking to watch.
Once again, Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job, he plays Danny Archer, a South African mercenary. His accent was dead on and believable (I have a buddy that's from South Africa to confirm it, too). Djimon Hounsou plays Solomon Vandy, the fisherman trying to get back to his family. He was alright and had his moments, but I think he could have left out a bit of the screaming as it was a tad too much and annoying at times.
I'm still on the fence with the chemistry between these two guys. One minute Archers an a-hole and the next minute he's a nice guy and it goes back and forth like this throughout most of the film. I get that he has his motivations, but it just seemed that they couldn't decide what kind of character they wanted to make him. Jennifer Connelly was as beautiful as ever. She played Maddy Bowen, an American journalist trying to expose the diamond conflict. In her pursuit, she builds a bond with Archer that was convincing and realistic. The fact that their relationship didn't evolve into the "typical standard" of male and female characters was also a nice change.
The director, Edward Zwick, does another great job. His storytelling draws you in and he gives you these secondary stories that are equally interesting. Then they all come together and strengthen the main storyline. The shoot-outs and action sequences were A-1. He managed to depict the locations as being gorgeous and ugly at the same time (ugly in the sense of the events that are happening).
This was a shocking movie and I think it will bring awareness to the diamond conflict. All in all, it was a solid film, but maybe a little too long, although quite entertaining.
-- by Tim
-- by Tim Goernert
CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...