“Blood Diamond”: A Movie Review

Genres Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly
Directed by Edward Zwick
IMDB rating 8,0/10
MPAA rating R
Release info 8 December 2006
Duration 2h 23min

The film Blood Diamond shows the diversity of Leonardo DiCaprio as he has evolved from a teenaged lover in Titanic in 1997 to a handsome, masculine adult protagonist in his more recent portrayals. He can be a hero or a villain, a lover or an outlaw; he has gained a fan base which will watch a film simply because the star is Leonardo.

In Blood Diamond, Leonardo portrays Danny Archer, born in war-torn Rhodesia. Danny is a gunrunner, a mercenary, a soldier turned smuggler, whose parents were murdered, which contributed to his life as a drifter. The movie is partly based on actual facts.

There is a great deal of violence in the film as it takes place during the Sierra Leone Civil War during the 1990’s in west Africa when rebel forces challenged the government over control of the nation’s diamond mines. The film did not hold back on showing graphic atrocities, bombings, and cruelty between humans. Young children should not view this film, nor should those who are queasy about watching such brutality.

“Blood Diamond”: A Movie Review

Diamonds mined in Africa are traded for guns and ammunition used in civil wars. Corrupt officials often steal the profits which has enraged the rebels and escalates the conflict between the two sides. While Danny was in prison temporarily for attempting to smuggle diamonds into Liberia, he met another prisoner, Solomon Vandy (played by black actor Djimon Hounsou), a fisherman who was forced by the rebels to mine diamonds while his wife and two children were taken to a refugee camp. Solomon was unaware that the rebels recruited his very young son, named Dia, to fight with them, brainwashing him in the process.

Danny learned that Solomon had found a rare pink diamond while he was forced to work in the mines. He has secreted it in a far-away field and plans to retrieve it when he is freed. Danny is determined to confiscate the diamond for himself in order to finance his freedom out of the Dark Continent. The two are aided in their quest by an American journalist, Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), who plans to expose the illicit diamond trade flourishing in Africa. Danny is able to provide her with inside information in exchange for her help in moving about the country freely.

“Blood Diamond”: A Movie Review

The subsequent events contribute to Danny’s redemption when he is wounded in a battle with the rebels over access to the pink diamond.

It is always a pleasure to watch Leonardo DiCaprio work. Jennifer Connelly was able to do very little with the small part she had. Any actress could have done as much. Although both Leonardo and Djimon Hounsou were both nominated for the Academy Award for their respective performances, Hounsou managed to win five minor acting awards for his excellent work in Blood Diamond.

Films such as Blood Diamond give us insight into the events that are happening in far away regions. For that reason, I think that the film is worth watching. I do object, however, to the graphic violence to which the viewer is subjected.

Rajeev Masand
Rajeev Masandhttp://rajeevmasand.com/
Rajeev Masand is an Indian film critic. He works for Noida based English language news channel CNN-Indian Broadcasting Network (CNN-IBN). He usually reviews Bollywood films and major Hollywood films released in India in his weekend show Now Showing. Rajeev Masand was thrice awarded ‘Best Entertainment Critic’ by the National Television (NT) Awards, in 2008, 2010 and 2011. Rajeev is Contributing Editor for GQ India, and writes a monthly column, Talk Movies for the magazine.

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