Sunday, January 14, 2007

Blood Diamond

Cast: Leoardo Di Caprio, Jeniffer Connely, Djimon Hansou

Direction: Edward Zwick

The movie deals with conflict diamonds and how the quest for diamonds has made Africa into a hell hole. The diamonds far from being a revenue source end up being a primary channel of funding which increases the misery on the people. The movie is about propaganda, choices, gore and is chilling sometimes. The way people are butchered, recruitment and brainwashing of children as soldiers, people losing the sense of right/wrong, the apathy of the rest of the world to conflicts and the untold miseries of people are all given a brief treatment in the movie.

The story is told through the eyes of Solomon Vandy (Djimon), who is fisherman who is captured to work as a slave in a diamond quarry. He chances upon a large diamond and hopes to use this to find his family and move to a better place. Danny Archer( Di Caprio) is a former army man from South Africa who is now a drug smuggler out to win his one deal which would help him get out of the rut. Maddy Bowen (Conelly) is the daredevil reporter who while looking for the real story of diamonds is on his track. Both of them come into Vandys life for their own reasons and fall in love with each other. Archer is the guy who has no redemption, even though he sees that he has no way out and gives Vandy a chance to survive in the end.

The movie is essentially a commentary of the state of affairs in God Forsaken Africa (God left this place a long time ago- Archer), the fact that is reinforced again and again through the acronym TIA (This is Africa). Political machinations of the common people and the western interests in the regions natural resources have meant that the common people are left to fend for themselves. The R.U.F (whose atrocities are widely chronicled) is another of the brigade of revolutionaries who don’t stop at anything to achieve their ends. That is one the problems, the no one knows what the logical end of the conflicts in Africa is. Is it a quest for power, money, identity or a combination? The puzzle may never be answered, but this movie tries to bring out as many aspects of the puzzle as possible (a bit mind numbing towards the end tho’ and certainly the chilling scenes are not for the weak hearted). As usual with slick Hollywood films some of the shots are unreal, almost as if you are in another world. But that world exists and this movie brings it out brilliantly. The romance was not probably needed in the movie (Archer did not have a childhood and this gets him love from Maddy). Caprio seems to pull off any role these days and Conelly is a class apart after Requiem (though you keep expected a similar kind of performance every time). Djimon is a perfect choice for the role of the father in search of his family and he does brilliantly. The one scene of violence when he smashes the R.U.F commander after going through everything is a scene to behold. Even when he acts as the representative of Africa, he has the right kind of emotions to show.

Sensationalist? Maybe. But overall a well made move.

Rating: 7.5/10

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