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Blood Diamond

Posted by Player under Drama

Blood DiamondBlood Diamond is another film with a political message. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, and Djimon Hounsou. The story takes place in the midst of a civil war in Sierra Leone. DiCaprio plays Danny Archer, a mercenary and smuggler who is African born and who is trying to get out of Africa. His luck takes a turn for the worst when on his last job he gets caught and loses his bounty. Luckily he meets Solomon Vandy, a poor fisherman who was separated from his family and who knows the whereabouts of a large diamond he found while being a slave for the guerrilla army. At the same time he meets Maddy Bowen, an American reporter with a nose for finding the real story. Archer and Bowen exchange in witty banter, and a love story is suppose to be inferred. However the film never really explores the love story, but instead focuses on Solomon who is trying to rescue his son from the rebel army.

While the film paints Solomon as the victim, caught between a diamond trade and rebel forces who exploit his people, it also tries to show Archer as the centrist. Archer is also an exploiter of Africa, but since he is also a product of Africa, it is his choices that matter in the film. If he chooses to use Solomon or if he helps Solomon is what the dramatic point of the movie is about. The rest of us including Maddy Bowen, get off easy because the moral of the film tells us that all we have to do is help when asked. The film tries to guilt the audience into changing political views once you see the horrors that both Solomon and Archer see on an everyday basis.

Overall, DiCaprio and Hounsou deliver good performances, while Connelly’s role in the film diminishes and becomes almost unimportant. The violence portrayed in the film is accurate and just as good as any war film of recent date. You get the sense that life is cheap in Africa and how hopelessness can so easily be succumbed to. What the film doesn’t do is try to push the audience. Yes, some scenes are shocking, and yes there are some lines that allude to the Modern World’s forgotten responsibilities, but a story like this could have been much harsher, much more precise and penetrating with its message. Instead it tends to hold back, not letting Danny Archer hold the world accountable for the terrible crimes that are occurring in Africa. You instead can leave the theater saying, “Wow,” or “Okay,” instead of truly breathless and perhaps heart broken that any father should have to see his son this way.

4 out 5 stars

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