Friday, January 05, 2007

Blood Diamond

Blood Diamond

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Leonardo DiCaprio .... Danny Archer
Djimon Hounsou .... Solomon Vandy
Jennifer Connelly .... Maddy Bowen
Kagiso Kuypers .... Dia Vandy

Excerpt from IMDB user 'dnlcmch' comments:
The year is 1999 and war has wrecked loose in Sierra Leone. Rebellions have consumed the country and its citizens. Families have been separated, mothers and daughters go to ill-fated camps, fathers are held as working prisoners, and sons are taken to be brain-washed and induced with the most disturbing of lifestyles that includes drugs, rage, violence, and terror. All of these sinister actions are to support a civil war. What funds the civil war? Diamonds. Priceless rocks from Africa's lush soil...

Soloman Vandy (Djiman Hounsou) is among the men held prisoner by the rebellion, forced to find diamonds in the rivers of Sierra Leone. Once Soloman comes into the possession of a priceless (pink) diamond, he immediately takes it as a ticket back to his family, witfully escaping the clutches of the rebellion. Making his way back to central civilization, Soloman meets Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a South African ex-soldier, a former mercenary, and a current smuggler who finds opportunity in Soloman, grants him his guidance, and together they seek the priceless diamond that Soloman hid and the son that has been left in the mists of the most sinister evil. Also matching wits is Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Conelly), an American journalist who wants to do more than just write an article that will have someone shed a tear. She wants to make a difference in Africa and for its society, yet, with the impossibility clear in her conscience. As Danny and Maddy build a loosely steady relationship, they find themselves helping each other see their true purpose in Africa, with the help of Soloman and his powerful devotion to his family's love, proving that morality can be found in an abyss of greed and corruption."

I don't know why I have to watch such a depressing movie at the end of my work week. However, while leaving the cinema, I realise how much the movie had opened my eyes; to the plight of the men, women & children alike- in Sierra Leone.

It's just like another war movie; this time I don't see soldiers fighting one another. I see a man hurting another man. I see kids become merciless soldiers, having been brain-washed by the ruthless rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). I see women and children alike, being massacred.

And for what? Some of them have never even seen a diamond before!

But the violence and sombriety doesn't go all out in our faces. The movie had scenes showing breathtaking views of the African countryside, scenes that remind me of Lord of The Rings.

The movie is also peppered with some light humour, mouthed by the various characters despite the turbulent goings-on in the background.
Yet another movie with Leo at his acting best. Years back, I would have been embarassed to say this but now, I declare that he's up there amongst my list of favourite actors. I really, really hope he gets that darn Best Actor award, be it for The Departed or Blood Diamonds.

Jennifer Connelly, she took the pain to actually prepare for her role as a journalist. She said she tried to observe details, such as the types of notebooks journalists have, the things that they pack into their bags and even what kind of shoes they wear to war zones.

And Djimon Honsou's facial expressions.... So real.
During a press conference for the movie, Jennifer Connelly was spotted wearing a pair of diamond earrings.But 36-year-old Academy Award winner politely assured reporters that her diamonds were politically correct.

'I'm wearing diamond earrings right now and they're from Bulgari. I have done research into retailers that can certify their diamonds are conflict-free,' she told reporters.
After this movie, I can never look at diamonds the same way again.

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