2 February 2007

Blood Diamond

J and I have not been fans of Leonardo DiCaprio, but we warmed to him in The Departed.

We're now totally hot on his acting prowess after seeing Blood Diamond tonight.


Playing diamond smuggler Danny Archer, DiCaprio is transformed into a white man who was born in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. Apparently, drinking sessions with South African soldiers helped to knock the Australian twang out of his Saffie accent!

Set during civil war in Sierra Leone in the early 90s, Archer finds himself in debt to his bosses because of a failed diamond smuggling attempt on the Sierra Leone/Liberian border.

Imprisoned, he hears a leader of the RUF (Revolutionary United Front), accuse a fellow prisoner (Solomon Vandy played by excellent Djimon Hounsou) of having found a huge pink diamond which he hid, before being captured.

Once out of prison, Archer also frees Vandy and circumstances lead them to team together to return to the mine to recover the diamond.

Along the way, Archer meets Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), a hardened American war journalist, to whom he tells his story of his involvement in the blood diamond trade.

There's a whole lot of substories going on in this movie which blend together in a powerful assault on the viewer's senses and emotions. African politics, child soldiers, refugees, the indifference of the rest of the world to Africa's plight (with a focus on America because of Bowen's viewpoint), intertwine with the relationships between the 3 main actors and their stories of how they came to be where they are.

Horror, humour, shock, disgust, sadness, hopelessness, respect, love, honour, acceptance, loss, vindication.

You have to see Blood Diamond.

DiCaprio deserves the Oscar for this role, but he's up against some stiff competition from Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland.

(Images from the IMDB website)


BuJ said...

oye, you're posting faster than a furious CG.. what's up?

mind u i never liked leo.. esp the way he started pathetically with titanics.. but i saw blood diamond last week and oh boy.. an amazing film.. and wouldn't be so amazing without leo.. and his fake ZA accent hehe..

still the movie's a 2 thumbs up!

programmer craig said...

Yep, really good movie. I was pleasantly surprised, for tow reasons. One, it got mediocre reviews, and two, I've never much liked Leonardo DiCaprio. But he was outstanding in this movie, and the story was a lot better than I expected based on what the critics were saying.

Emirati said...

That was a cool ZA accent buj, MJ please check out my entry :-)

CG said...

furious CG?


Hatem said...

Blogs are really useful!
Now I will go watch the movie :)

nzm said...

buj: there's lots to blog about! heh heh!

I think that Leo's Saffie accent was pretty good.

Programmer Craig: welcome to our blog! I've never put much faith in what the movie critics write - they have this outlook on movies that is totally foreign to my way of thinking!

Emirati: thanks for the kudos for us on your blog, and I've left a comment!

CG: hell hath no fury like a furious CG!

Hatem: welcome to you! I don't think that you'll be disappointed with Blood Diamond. I doubt that the UAE censors will have cut anything out of this one - no kissing or sex, but lots of violence! lol.

Kishor Cariappa said...

Thanks, added the movie 'to do' list :)

sky said...

Just watched it last night and came home and read your post.
I loved Blood Diamond...I was largely unaware of the horror that went on. Now there's another reason why I wouldn't want a diamond (you know, middle child, want to be unconventional :)

I almost have this motherly-proud feeling towards Leo. I love that he took such a great turn in his career after Titanic (which was well acted but definitely cheesy). He's a fantastic actor!

Dubai Sunshine said...

Watched it last night too, (with Sky!), and love it too....I've always thought Leo is a great actor...and that Titanic was just the exception to the rule...

Djimon Hounsou was also unbelievable, and Jennifer Connelly made me want to become a journalist :)

Pandabonium said...

We'll have to check that out. Thanks. I'd like to see DiCaprio doing something well. :) I remember one critic saying that is acting in Titanic was so wooden, he was surprised when he failed to float.

Anyway, sounds like a good one.

Radha said...

I loved the movie too, it makes you sit up and take notice of the way things are in Africa.