Deadly Diamond

Blood Diamond director Zwick churns out an indelibly forthright and elevating story of three characters whom fate brings together, reports Ervell E. Menezes

Leonardo DiCaprio & Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio & Djimon Hounsou in Blood Diamond

Diamonds are forever" and "diamonds are a girl’s best friend" are some of the eulogies attributed to that wonder stone but the price one pays to get it and the ordeal, nay the hell on earth, the locals are subjected to in the process, is graphically, even horrifyingly brought to light in Blood Diamond, a candid, thought-provoking drama set against the backdrop of the civil war that engulfed the Sierra Leone of the 1990s.

Whenever a prized substance is discovered (ivory, rubber or gold) it is he local that die, they say and Blood Diamond shows how this happens.

May be the violence is needlessly exaggerated and some of the situations rather convenient (at the halfway mark one wonders where the film is leading to), but the final revelation and the issues it raises, like the conflict stones and the child soldiers, is worth its weight in diamonds.

But it takes three unlikely elements to get into this act. First, there’s Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), an ex-mercenary from Zimbabwe in touch with the smuggling cartel. Then there’s Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman who dreams of escaping from this vandalized world.

It is he who finds that pink diamond. Now both these men are African but their histories are completely different. And then there’s the catalyst, Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), an idealistic American journalist who is in Sierra Leone to uncover the truth about conflict diamonds.

Director Edward Zwick gets to the core of this hidden conspiracy and aided by a revealing script by Charles Leavitt and C. Gaby Mitchell uncovers the brutal reality of this covert operation. "Some day when this war is over, this will be a paradise," Vandy tells his son Dia (Kagiso Kuypers) in much the same manner in which Martin Luther King had his dream. But what strife, when Dia himself becomes a child soldier ? Will his dream become a nightmare ?

In 140 minutes of high drama, director Zwick churns out an indelibly fortright and elevating story of these three characters whom fate brings together. Can their motives change ? What is the final goal and how I is achieved is what Blood Diamond is all about and it brings out the best in he three main players. DiCaprio intense, Connelly effervescent and Hounsou Confused, a Poitier reborn, they all gel to the crux of this unlikely situation to churn out an unforgettable drama which is as rivetting as it is thought-provoking. Don’t miss it.