Viewed – 07 Feb 2009 DVD
Why it has taken me so long to sit down and view this one, is beyond me. At first the prospect of a conflict-based drama in an African country just wasn’t my cup of tea, but now having watched it – I hold my hand up and agree I was missing out on something special.
Leonardo DiCaprio, one of the best in the business as far as I’m concerned plays an ex mercenary turned diamond smuggler caught up in the conflict in Sierra Leone that involves such terrible attrocicites as child terrorists and mass murder. He soon befriends a local reporter (the beautiful Jennifer Connelly) who’s out to land the big story. Together they end up helping an african fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) whose family have gone missing during the conflict. Each character is out for their own gain, but it seems they’ll only get what they are looking for if they work together.
This vividly realistic and powerful film showcases the horror of real-world conflict and may prove a bit upsetting to some, as its never scared to show real horror on screen. This is harrowing and violent, but all the more effective and emotional. DiCaprio sports an African accent that he pulls off well and is obviously the star but is also a shady, conflicted character that you’re never sure is the good guy or the bad guy. Top marks should also go to Djimon Hounsou who’s performance is nothing short of heart breaking, and very convincing. Connelly meanwhile commends herself admirably for an actress that has been woefully underused in her long career (you may remember her from Labyrinth and Dario Argento’s Phenomena).
One of those films you’ll be thinking about and perhaps talking about long after the credits have run. A must.
Verdict: 4 /5