I'm going to start by saying that I felt this movie very deeply, partly
due to it's very powerful and emotional story, partly because of the
solid and strong performances of DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou which was
a good surprise.
This movie has a political side to it, the RUF (Revolutionary United
Front) is a violent group of rebels that kidnaps children, destroys
their innocence with drugs and alcohol transforming them into one of
the rebels themselves with a complete brainwash, while enslaving adults
to work on a diamond field. Diamonds those, that are used to fund their
war. However the main point of interest in this film, is the quest of a
fisherman (Djimon Hounsou), made slave by the RUF, to try and save his
son, who was kidnapped by RUF as well, when he is rescued by a diamond
smuggler (Leonardo Dicarpio) who is only interested in... diamonds.
The story becomes a painful journey for these men, each one using the
other to reach their own goal. It's interesting to see the evolution of
the relationship between them and the character development twists as
they become closer. Specially interesting to see is the inner conflicts
going on with DiCpario's character.
It becomes with no doubt an emotional ride within a violent and intense
story. I don't mean violent in a graphical way (the movie has some very
tough scenes though), but violent in the way the movie explores and
deals with the darkest and evilest sides of men's nature as well as
what despair and force of will can achieve.
If I was child living in the situation those African children were
living, I would look at the RUF and I would see the purest state of
fear and evil, so great of an evil that it could torture and twist you
to the point of destroying all the good and innocent in you and
transform you in fear itself. Now this is what this child is
experiencing and what this father is trying to stop at all costs...
heavy no? This movie is definitely worth to be seen, it's a human story
with a inhuman side to it, though not everyone will have an easy time
watching it. I watched this movie with my father (who is actually a
very sensitive person concerning movies and not-only) and he greatly
enjoyed the movie but had trouble watching some of the more powerful
scenes due to its incredible realism.
Great story, great drama, powerful performances and a beautiful
reporter as well (Jennifer Conneli, I forgot to mention you!). The best
movie of the genre I've watched, no-doubt.