Blood Diamond, directed by Edward Zwick, is an adventure film set in Africa during the chaotic “conflict diamond” decade in the 1990s. This film was released in 2006. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Danny Archer), Djimon Hounsou (Solomon Vandy), and Jennifer Connelly (Maddy Bowen). I have never heard much about this film, but it has Leo DiCaprio, so it must be good! (biased opinion)
Blood Diamond mainly takes place in Sierra Leone, Africa. Danny Archer, a former mercenary from Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), helps smuggle diamonds into Liberia. After being thrown in jail, he comes in contact with Soloman Vandy, a struggling fisherman who was taken by the rebel forces. Vandy has a big secret that involves a very valuable diamond. Archer proposes a deal to Vandy: Archer will find Vandy’s family in return for the diamond. Maddy Bowen, an American journalist, meets and joins the duo in their quest for the diamond. Their perseverance, reliability, and instincts are tested as they combat the African wilderness and rebel forces.
I really enjoyed this film! It was entertaining and sent a good message. I will never look at a diamond the same way. There was (and still is) so much bloodshed just to make money and please diamond companies. Although the ending was very Hollywood-esque, the film showed the brutal things that many innocent people had to endure. It showed the cruel side of human beings. I was impressed with the acting as well as the setting. It made me feel like I was actually there, in Sierra Leone.
Leo DiCaprio was nominated for an Oscar (Best Actor) for his role as Danny Archer. He lost to Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland). When I was watching the film, I totally forgot I was watching Leo. He adopted a perfect (well, I think) Rhodesian accent. One would think that he was actually from there. His performance was captivating. Danny Archer is a tough man with instinctive survival skills, so this role was not easy. One of my favorite scenes is when Danny Archer first arrives in the film. He gets off a plane to greet someone who supposedly has diamonds for him. This scene just shows the stubbornness and grit of his character. Here is the video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pBOLdZZT6s
Both Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly’s performances were compelling as well. I loved how Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly) tried so hard to show the world the truth about the diamond business. She was also very impacting on Danny Archer and his change of heart. Djimon Hounsou put so much emotion into his role of Solomon Vandy. It really hurt to see him separated from his family. There were some situations were the scenes could have been slightly cheesy, but this was avoided for the most part.
According to IMDb, Blood Diamond was mostly filmed in parts of South Africa and Mozambique. The scenery was beautiful, and the director made sure that the audience could take note of this. There were breathtaking shots of the sunset, usually after every major scene or sequence. It was shot to where all the stages of the sunset were seen. I love how this was done. Long shots and pans were used to display the vastness of the land and just how lost one could get.
I highly recommend this film if you are looking for an interesting adventure film to watch. It will definitely make you more aware of the conflicts that did occur and still occur in Africa. If you have seen this film, please share your thoughts in the comment section! 🙂
(Image header courtesy of Warner Bros. Co.)