Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Blood Diamond

I planned to see Blood Diamond at the movies. I had seen a Documentary on Blood Diamonds shortly before this movie was released, so my curiosity was already piqued. Somehow, this film slipped out of the theater before I had a chance to see it on the big screen. I finally had an opportunity to watch last night and came away moved and impressed.

What impressed me most about Blood Diamonds was the acting of Leonardo DiCaprio. I have always sort of viewed his as a wimpy wormy sort of fellow. I get a laugh out of guys like him and Nicholas Cage playing macho roles. These guys just don't strike me as tough. I have changed my opinion about DiCaprio. He plays a war-tested soldier who fought in Africa, leaving the military for more lucrative opportunities trading guns and money for diamonds. DiCaprio is required to wear an African (English) Accent in this film which surprised me. I was waiting for him to break the accent but he never did. He looked a little stockier in this film than I remember him, too. My hat is officially off for DiCaprio's stellar performance.

The superb acting was by no means limited to DiCaprio's character, either. Blood Diamond tells the story of Soloman Vandy (played by Djimon Hounsou) who was brilliant. Vandy's village is overrun by rebels leading to his imprisonment as a slave worker in the Diamond fields. Vandy finds a prize diamond which he proceeds to bury before the labor camp is attacked by Government troops. A rebel officer sees Vandy with the diamond and wants to get it back. DiCaprio's character (Danny Archer) hears about the diamond and sees it as his ticket out of Africa. In short, everyone desires this particular diamond, leading to an action-packed adrenaline pumping series of events. Vandy demonstrates a range of strong emotions. His chemistry with DiCaprio works to create a tense but workable relationship that keeps you guessing regarding the outcome of their pursuit.

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