De Beers can relax; the only indignation stirred up by Blood Diamond won't be among those who worry about where their jewelry came from, but with audiences incensed by facile politics and bad storytelling.
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Africa's enduring sorrow is ripe for drama, but Blood Diamond is, finally, a fitting metaphor for the gems: Potentially brilliant from a distance, but upon closer inspection, one likely will see the flaws.
Essentially a romantic adventure story with politics in the background--an old-fashioned movie, I suppose, but exciting and stunningly well made.
Given that the movie doesn't have a single narrative surprise--you always know where it's going and why, commercially speaking, it's going there--it's amazing how good Blood Diamond is. I guess that's the surprise.
There's no use griping about the superfluous white-on-white romance that generates so much dead space in Zwick's movie, for without it Blood Diamond would never have been made. Which would be a pity, for as liberal hand-wringing goes, it's a winner.
Not that Diamond skimps on the social commentary; far from it. But it makes its points without too much breast-beating, caching its polemic within a tough-minded entertainment.
It's a solid performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, who has grown into this sort of "gritty" role and is more believable after having been seen dancing on the dark side in "The Departed."
There is every reason to learn about the link between jewels and death, by all means, but no reason to try to disguise a term paper as entertainment.
While the film never quite reaches the emotional peaks it so obviously seeks to scale, Zwick's film is still potent enough to save you three months salary.
To the unlikely role of a Bogart-esque reluctant hero, Leonardo DiCaprio brings an intensity that compels even when the script falters.