movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

I like movies, music and everything esle... ; ) oh... and i can't spell, so, please, no comments

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


BLOOD DIAMOND should be a very compelling and thought provoking film. The subject matter alone would make you think that this is one of the ones to watch for come awards season. The film centers on the diamond trade in South Africa and uses Sierra Leone in the early 90’s as the backdrop. This controversial subject is seen through the eyes of three very different people.
First is Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a smuggler and ex-soldier that uses the war, the bloodshed and the demand of the stones for his benefit and is making money from it. He sells weapons to the rebels in exchange for illegal diamonds and then smuggles those diamond across the boarder, where he sells them for a large profit. Second is Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a fisherman who wants nothing more than a good life for his wife and three children. When the rebels come into his town butchering innocent people, he is separated from his family and taken into the world of diamond mining and used as a slave by the rebels who use the illegal diamonds to fund their revolution. The third point of view is that of Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), an American Journalist who is trying to cover the story on the diamond trade, but more than anything else, she wants to make a difference in the world and not just write about its problems.
The story gets more complicated when Solomon stumbles across a rare and extremely large pink diamond that is virtually priceless. All that he wants of to get his family back. All that Archer wants is to use Solomon to get the stone, sell it and get away from South Africa for once and for all. Maddy Bowen is the key for each to get what they want and all she wants to do is make a difference. The three of them are now together and on a journey across the country and through a revolution.
The issues that are dealt with in BLOOD DIAMOND are important. The use of diamonds to fund a revolution and the corporations that uses that revolution and the senseless murder of thousands to make a profit. The demand for diamonds that exists in the world and how that demand (however constructed it may be) encourages this bloodshed and profiteering. The whole world just seems to watch, but take no notice of what was going on in this region. Hundreds of thousand of people being butchered and it was hardly a blip on the radar of the world. The horror of the rebel invasion, the fall of Free Town and the loss of life in that attack alone. Is Archer wrong for giving up on his hope because of all that had happened and simply trying to make some money and take care of himself? Is there anything that any one person can do? Even if there isn’t, does that mean that we should stop trying? What are this war and this greed based killing doing to the country and the innocent people involved? BLOOD DIAMOND tries to deal with all these issues and more. The result is an unfocused mess.
This is simply a bland film. It tries to hit too many subjects and issues to focus on one enough to get you to care. The storytelling is not compelling or particularly interesting and neither are the situations presented. That is the real shame of this film because the issues should be fascinating and spark a debate from anyone that watches. It does not. It just lulls the viewer into a stupor until you really dot care about what is going on in front you because you know it is a movie and you just want it to end. Edward Zwick (the director) is a competent filmmaker who has made one great film (GLORY). The problem is that GLORY was 17 years ago and every movie that he has made since is a varying degree of bland. His films don’t engage. They are pretty, well made on a technical level, but lack a certain heart or emotion that makes them jump off the screen and come to life.
The other real shame here is the waste of the performances by DiCaprio and Hounsou. DiCaprio delivers a really strong performance here and his South African accent is spot on to the fact that there were times where I forgot it was him. He throws himself into the role here even to the extent of delivering a portion of his lines on another language without skipping a beat. He does everything he can but is still let down by the aimless script and nothingness of the film. Hounsou also delivers a strong performance filled with heart and emotion. He is raw and out there on the screen for all to see, but it is not enough because there is not a movie there to support him.
This is not a “bad” film. It is just there. I wanted this movie to make me think and make people talk, but I really forgot most of it as soon as I was walking out of the theater. In America it is "Bling Bling". In South Africa it is "Bling Bang". In the theater it is "Bling Bland".


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