A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.
Blood Diamond is probably one of the best movies I’ve watch so far. The characters are amazing. The actors are very talented. The plot is very engaging. The setting is very convincing. The theme has a social relevance. It shows a timely issue of big industries capitalizing on conflict diamonds obtained from Sierra Leone. Each of the characters has their own dilemma which would affect the lives of the other characters.
Danny Archer is a white Rhodesian gunrunner who belongs to the wrong side of town. He was once a soldier who believes that something good will come out of all their efforts in the war only to realize later on that nothing will happen if he continues to obey the rules. He now works as a smuggler of diamonds and just as he was on his way to Liberia to deliver the orders from him, the authorities caught him.
He meets Solomon Vandy while inside the prison cell. Solomon is a fisherman who was a victim of Revolutionary United Front. He was captured and was brought work in a diamond mine which was overseen by the ruthless warlord, Captain Poison. His secret, he saw a large Pink Diamond the size of a quail egg which is believed to be a hundred carat diamond. He buried the stone before any else could get it. As he gets out of the prison, he’ll soon learn that his son was captured and turned into a child soldier, while his wife and daughters were in the refugee camp.
Maddy Bowen is an American journalist who was assigned to get a scoop on the rampant smuggling of diamonds in Liberia when in fact it was South Africa who has the natural resources. She wanted to expose the growing industry and is dead set on getting the story from Danny Archer, whom she met in a bar.
Three lives would soon be intertwined, each needing something from each other. Danny, who’s botched Liberian Operation, needs to find the Pink Diamond as a payment to Colonel Coetzee and as a ticket to get out of the continent. In order to find this, he arranged for Solomon Vandy to be freed. In exchange for the diamond, Solomon's only request was to help him find his family. This is where Mandy Bowen comes in. she needs a big scoop so she needs to learn the ins and outs of the diamond smuggling. Danny, in his haste to get the diamond, he tells his story to Maddy and even gives her his little notebook that contains all the names of the people who do business with him.
The characters in the movie represent the oppressed, the people who succumb to the dark side and the people who want to give voice to the oppressed but are at crossroads on how to do it.
Danny Archer represents those people who were once with the right side in fighting for the good but later on realized they were being left out. In order to survive, they did what they despised before. He did what he did to survive. He may have been portrayed as selfish and user but deep inside, he is a good man. It was just masked with his needs and his growing frustration to pay his debt and to escape the country. As he got to know Solomon, his character changed little by little. And with Maddy’s persistence and her guilt-tripping him, his conscience caught up with him. What he did at the end, made me cry a bucket of tears.
Solomon Vandy knows that the Pink Diamond was worth a lot of money but he is willing to give it in exchange for his family. It was really a struggle for him, knowing what happened with his family especially with his son, yet he doesn’t have any power to free them. He has great hopes for his son and he went to great lengths just to rescue him even if it would cost him his life.
Maddy Bowen is an investigative reporter who’s going to great lengths just to get the big story on the illegal smuggling of conflict diamonds in Sierra Leone, Africa. Thanks to her persuasion, he weakened Danny’s demeanor. She wants the whole world to know what was going on but is having difficulty as to what she’s going to do. She’s so sick of writing about the chaotic situation of the people in Sierra Leone yet she can’t coax any one to help. This movie showed a glimpse of the life of a journalist. What she said was true. Their work, more often than not, exploit the grief of the victims. That scene where there was an attack and the camera men and journalists surrounded the victims and instead of helping, they were getting their cameras, pens, and papers out to do their job. It’s just sad. Maddy’s character showed us that sometimes, we have to forget out job and reach out to help those who are in need.
The movie also highlights the situation of several children who were taken into captivity, brainwashed and turned into soldiers. This is horrible and the fact that this happens in real life makes me sick.
My favorite scenes in the movie would be when Solomon saw the the rebels attacking their village and he ran as if his life depended on it just to rescue his family. That part when he tells Danny about his hopes for his son becoming a doctor someday. I don't know why but it affected me deeply. The best part would be when Danny stayed behind and gave the diamond to Solomon and let them escape. Danny finally learned to be selfless. And of course, that part when he called Maddy. I had high hopes he would come out alive. They could have been great together.
A shout out to Leonardo DiCaprio for his gorgeous portrayal of Denny Archer. He embraced his character, and that accent! Haha. It was amusing. And also to Djimon Hounsou whose performance was magnanimous. Hands down to both of you!