Director: Edward Zwick
The film chronicles one of those many stories, which entwines the lives of three characters. Solomon Vandy is a native fisherman with a wife and children, who leads a simple life. Danny Archer is a white South African mercenary who smuggles diamonds into
While being forced to work in the fields, Vandy discovers a rare pink diamond, and hides it. However, the RUF leader spies him and tries to kill him, but they are intercepted by the government forces. Later, when they are both in prison, the RUF leader loudly accuses Vandy of having it on his person, which the latter vehemently denies. Archer, who is in prison for attempting to smuggle diamonds to England-based Dutch jeweller Van Der Kaap, hears this. He is intrigued and wants to get his hands on the diamond. Later, the RUF kidnaps Vandy’s son Dia, and Archer uses this as an opportunity to get the diamond in exchange for getting Dia back. To do this, however, he has to enlist the help of the inquisitive Maddie, who will not rest until she has the inside story of the coup and Archer’s part in it.
So between them, they strike a deal: Maddie helps Archer and Dia get to
Sadly, Leonardo DiCaprio as David Archer could have been better etched. As a South African white and former member of a rebel army, now making a living as a diamond smuggler, there is a lot of potential for fleshing him out. But, despite his perfect Rhodesian accent and efforts, he is ultimately relegated to being the glamourous
Djimon Hounsou of Amistad fame, who plays Vandy, seems pretty wasted in a role that doesn’t require him to speak much. His performance appears a little stiff, but for a simple villager, whose only goal is to get back his son Dia from the rebel army, it is evocative enough. Unfortunately, his character does not have as much screen place as Archer, and his expressions are limited to intimidating glares. Again, a potentially interesting character pushed into oblivion.
A seemingly unnecessary addition that clinches Blood Diamond’s caving in to
But to the film’s credit, Archer and Maddie do not develop a romantic relationship, which would have stretched the film unnecessarily.
The African rebels are portrayed as a bunch of trigger-happy, drug-toting thugs who engage in rowdy and murderous deeds. Fair enough. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there is little of
There are some groan-inducing moments – when Maddie sits among the refugees in a gesture of contemptuous benevolence; when Archer, hit by a bullet, makes his last call to Maddie; and when the diamond merchants stand up and applaud a smiling Solomon Vandy. These scenes in particular are supposed to be moving, but they fail miserably.
At first glance, Blood Diamond appears to belong to that category of films for whom
Blood Diamond certainly is a good film for the most part, both conceptually and visually – the green hills of Sierra Leone’s diamond country, the villagers fishing against the sunset, the locals hunting for diamonds at gunpoint and being shot mercilessly for disobedience; the rebels shooting every living thing in sight while kidnapping children for recruitment into their armies; and the mindless bloodshed and mayhem that ensues from the consequent conflicts. There is attention given to tiny details of African life - the places and ways in which smugglers hide the diamonds; Solomon’s anger at his wife on discovering his son is missing; the methods using which child soldiers are inducted into the rebel forces; and the streets and sounds of