Feature

Blood Diamond

An African fisherman trades a diamond for the chance to save his son.

Blood Diamond is two movies in one, said Peter Rainer in The Christian Science Monitor. Like last year's The Constant Gardener, it 'œfreely combines political grandstanding with action-adventure heroics.' Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) is a poor Sierra Leone fisherman who pockets a coveted pink diamond. Smuggler Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) offers to take the diamond as payment for finding Vandy's son, who has been recruited by a rebel army. Together Vandy and Archer uncover the horrifying tactics of the thugs who rule the illegal African diamond trade. If you can't follow the intrigue, 'œjust sit back and enjoy the gunfire,' said Rex Reed in The New York Observer. DiCaprio has become an action hero, bringing muscle to a serious role. In his second Oscar-worthy performance of the year (after The Departed), DiCaprio captures his character's development beautifully. Unfortunately, his is the only character that can develop, said Gene Seymour in New York Newsday. The brilliant Hounsou is stuck playing the boring 'œnoble African' role. If Hollywood is going to pat itself on the back for making an issue film about Africa, shouldn't it look for meaning beyond black stereotypes? 'œIt's hard to credit the anti-exploitation message of a movie that treats its African men, women, and children as wholesale cannon fodder, doomed-but-noble ciphers, or sneering, bloodthirsty sociopaths.'

Rating: R

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