Sunday, January 28, 2007
Blood Diamond - review
Blood Diamond (15)
Dir. Edward Zwick
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
"Sometimes I wonder if God will ever forgive us for what we've done to each other... Then I look around and I realise... God left this place a long time ago.” Welcome to a truly Godforsaken place where life is cheap, trust is an illusion and everything depends on how much cash can be made from the natural resources on offer. No, for once I’m not talking about Luton, but rather Sierra Leone and the resources in question here are diamonds and one in particular. Imagine a pink diamond the size of a chicken’s egg, a gem that makes the Pink Panther look like something you cold pick up at Elizabeth Duke in Argos… This is a diamond so valuable that it will change the destiny of all who hear about it and now it has been found by Solomon Vandy (an incredible Oscar nominated performance by Djimon Hounsou), a poor fisherman who has been forced into slavery. Hot on the trail of this ‘blood diamond’ is soldier of fortune Danny Archer (another excellent Oscar nominated performance, this time from Leonardo DiCaprio) who hears about he fabled stone and befriends Vandy in order to track it down, whatever the cost.
It’s a compelling set up and Edward ‘Last Samurai’ Zwick delivers a powerful, arresting and satisfyingly action packed drama that blows the lid off the unspeakable human cost associated with parts of the African ‘conflict diamond’ trade.
I was a bit sceptical, having never really been a DiCaprio fan, even thinking he was the weakest link in last year’s excellent ‘The Departed’. But he totally nails the part of Archer – playing him almost like a modern day Han Solo (albeit with a dodgier accent). Then there’s the always lovely Jennifer Connelly who’s been consistently gorgeous on screen since Labyrinth back in 1986!! She might be pushing 40 but her wicked smile is enough to make you consider smuggling any amount of diamonds to get into her good books…
DiCaprio and Hounsou really eat up the screen and deserve to walk away with something from the Oscars. As a father I was heartbroken by the tangible fear, bewilderment and anger that ensues when Vandy‘s young son Dia (played beyond his years by Kagiso Kuypers) is brainwashed and turned into a cold-blooded killing machine by the RUF guerrillas. It is plot elements like this that lift Blood Diamond out of the ‘just another issue based action flick’ pack and make it a ‘must see’ experience.
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action öööö – delivers more and far better than expected!
Laughs öö – some minor amusing moments
Horror ööö – nasty in places but necessarily so
Babes ööö – Jennifer Connelly... yes please!!
Overall öööö (a classy cinematic experience - don't miss it)
Jennifer - a fine figure of a woman!!
Darkmatters: H O M E