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January 14, 2007
posted by Nk. at 7:42 PM

Watched Blood Diamond with my sister last night. I must say that the film is thoroughly captivating, and pierces right through your moral beliefs (or what's left of it if you have any).

Not all movies which claim to have a "conscience" has one, and this movie had me soul-searching just like Hotel Rwanda did.

There have been a lot of reviews about this Ed Zwick (Glory, Courage Under Fire) film, from those saying that it's just another movie about Africa, to others praising it for daring to challenge the ethical choices we make in our everyday lives. Most of the folks at rottentomatoes.com are cynical about Zwick's attempt at another "message film"but I have to say that for an average viewer like me just looking to be entertained, the intention of the film was not lost. I was reminded that there is Africa - where there has been (and maybe there still is) terrible bloodshed, where there are people with dreams just like us. That may sound cliche and sentimental, but i think it'll do people good if they watched more eye-opener films like these instead of regularly satiating themselves with just something that scares you out of your wits or succeeds at making you fart in the theater for laughing too hard. It's good to have a shot of reality every now and then.

And what can i say about Leonardo DiCaprio's performance? As the diamond-obsessed, emotionally-troubled former soldier Danny Archer, he is simply breath-taking and intense. Already his performance has him leading the way at the Screen Actors Guild (Sag) awards with two nominations for 'outstanding' performances (for both Blood Diamond and The Departed). This guy has certainly come a long, long way from teenybopper movies like Romeo and Juliet. Is he the Meryl Streep of his generation? I'm inclined to say so.

Danny Archer unfortunately, does not live long enough to see the end of this film. Yes comrades, brothers in arms, Leonardo DiCaprio dies in this film. The moment i realize that Danny Archer will not be getting out of Africa alive, i wanted to run screaming and bawling to the screen, "buhayin nyo sya!! buhayin nyo syaaaa waaa @&%#*^% nyo buhayin nyo sya!!!" *sabay tapon ng popcorn sa screen* I wanted to slap Jennifer Connelly (playing the idealistic journalist Maddy Bowen) for not kissing him, giving him some love when she had the chance. Fine it's not supposed to be a lovestory. but i'm pinoy and i like it when people love each other.

The other that gives a moving performance here is Djimon Hounsou (of Amistad fame) as Solomon Vandy, the fisherman who gets
separated from his family, and sent to work in the diamond fields. The scene where Solomon finally snaps and explodes in rage, killing Captain Poison (the cruel commander of the mine fields who kidnapped his son) - it was scary.

Blood Diamond is a shocking film, capturing the true horrors of the African civil war -- which most of the rest of the civil world couldn't care less about. After the film it's up to you to examine your conscience or not - and do something about it. But if there's one thing you'll certainly feel after or during the movie, it's being thankful that you are where you are, reading this blog, and not somewhere that, quoting Danny Archer in the film - "God has left a long time ago".

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