i just got home from watching blood diamond downtown. and now there is about to be a crazy storm or at least that’s how it feels (dark at 3:45, windy wind, the usual storm-like things). which is completely beside the point.
the point is blood diamond is not that awesome. i mean, i am surprised people continue to make movies highlighting the plight of third world countries with the main character as a white guy. or i’m not surprised, i’m just bored of it. everyone knows it’s hypocritical so that’s not the issue. it’s just completely unrealistic and makes the horrible problems (child soldiers, aids, drugs, warlords, whatever) seem fixable with good intentions. or worse, it makes the problems seem like a fairy tale that has already been worked out and ended.
another disturbing thing about these type of movies and particularly blood diamond is the flatness and disrespect shown to practically every character. the black african? he’s just a simple good hearted family man! the other black african? he’s a heartless mercenary kid-killer! the attractive american journalist girl? she’s jennifer connelly! proving once again that she peaked with requiem for a dream!
seriously. jennifer connelly is so terrible in this movie there were a couple times when i wondered if it was her that was ruining the whole thing. not only is her acting obvious and robotic but her character is a mixture of girl stereotypes and good-hearted journalist stereotypes. there is nothing in this woman that made me believe for a second she would be good at surviving in war zones. instead she seemed exactly like the kind of woman who might be really into diamond engagement rings and occasionally donating money to her kid’s school jog-a-thon for premature babies.
i think as a country it may be time to issue a statement disowning her. i think it would be best for everyone if we just make a clean break.
all that said, there is one redeeming thing about this movie that actually makes it worth seeing. and that is leonardo dicaprio. i am not just saying this because he’s so freaking dreamy. there is that but in blood diamond leonardo dicaprio makes every other person look like a sixth grade mouse in a school production of the wizard of wonderland. he makes the traditional white rescuer an interesting and human guy who is actually not a humanitarian at all. his character, a “rhodesian” (he never once calls it zimbabwe), refuses to be sugar-coated until maybe the last 2 minutes of the film when he basically doesn’t have a choice anymore. he is racist, he is fucked up, he just wants money and he pretty much hates africa.
in one scene, he tells jennifer connelly about his parents’ brutal murders. if he was an average actor, he would have played it as a moment of revelation when he suddenly opened up to the woman he loved and understood the only way to true happiness was through helping those who needed him and blah blah blah. instead, when he gets a little teared up and jennifer connelly touches his hand, you get the distinct feeling he has just succeeded at getting into her pants and if he did any dealing with his sad sad past, he did it ages ago and doesn’t need the soft understanding eyes of a skinny american do-gooder to rescue him from himself.
so it’s awesome instead of nausea-inducing.
the sad part about his amazing performance as compared with the sucky-ness of everyone else’s, is that it proves that the writing and directing of this movie are also no good. but then again it also definitively proves that he is not just a heartthrob anymore so it’s both lose and win i guess.
anyway, i think diamonds are pretty much a racket no matter where they come from and knowing that they fund terrorism is just another reason to not get one. not that i am pro what’s going on in africa. i’m totally anti mostly all of it. but i don’t think making fake-happy movies where 1 good family gets to survive is the way to solve anything.
a better idea would be to force every diamond ring wanting girl to shoot a family member in the face before her fiance can start payments.
but i just don’t see that happening anytime soon.