Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blood Diamond

Leonardo di Caprio is Danny Archer, a scummy guy and former mercenary who's currently in the diamond-smuggling business. He doesn't care where the diamonds come from. He just wants to make money. When he hears that a fisherman named Solomon has found a 100-carat pink diamond, he wants in.

The problem is that Sierra Leone is in the midst of a horrible civil war during the time the movie is set. The diamonds smuggled out are being used to finance the war, which is presented in gut- and heart-wrenching realism. Violent deaths and mutilations are as common as air. If you've bought a diamond lately, you're likely to feel a little bit guilty, especially if you didn't know about "conflict" (or "blood") diamonds.

The message doesn't overwhelm the story, though. Danny wants the diamond, Solomon wants his family back, and Maddy, the journalist played by Jennifer Connelly in a thankless role, wants a story. They all get what they want in one way or another.

My main quibble with this movie is that it went on for fifteen minutes after it ended. I suppose the final quarter hour was tacked on to make you feel a little better. Didn't work for me. It was redundant, and it felt it. I'd still recommend the movie, though.

6 comments:

gomer said...

i only have a question about jennifer connelly but i'm not gonna ask it because it will probably just upset everybody.

Todd Mason said...

Haven't seen all of it, Gomer, but probably not.

I've been letting LdC scare me off, but HBO popped up recently on trial, and so I've seen some bits and pieces. The producers were the same folks responsible for ONCE AND AGAIN, my default choice for the best television show thus far, as well as the excellent RELATIVITY, the good MY SO-CALLED LIFE, the rather uimpressive THIRTYSOMETHING, and a new web series coming up which is apparently not going to be about people in their 50s or 0s, as logical at that might be.

Bill Crider said...

LdC surely isn't one of my favorites, but he was okay in this. I liked the movie more than I thought I would.

Jeff Meyerson said...

We watched it last night too.

Leo was pretty good but the whole thing didn't work for me. If I want to see depressing African footage of people murdering each other I'll watch the BBC or CNN.

And yes, Jennifer's role was ridiculous. And [WARNING] there was never any doubt he'd turn noble and sacrifice himself, was there? [END WARNING]

eddie said...

oh phooey: now you've spoiled it for me. Oh, well; I'll just watch The Whoopie Boys instead.

Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Saw it, liked it enough to stay till the end but didn't consider it a classic. I found it refreshing that some Africans were shown as killers and aggressors and others as honest working people.