Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Blood Diamond (Two-Disc Special Edition)”

(Warner Home Video. 2006. Color. 2 discs. 143 minutes. Rated R. Directed by Edward Zwick.) Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Sheen, Arnold Vosloo. Music by James Newton Howard.

Even as a woman, I never thought much about diamonds (never owned them until a gift last year), but after this film I have more of an appreciation of the journey they might have taken — and lives that might have been sacrificed — to get to my jewelry box. And one has to wonder: is it worth it? DiCaprio plays an ex-mercenary-turned-smuggler, caught up in the civil war in 1999 Sierra Leone in West Africa. Hounsou is a fisherman whose family is torn from him in the strife, and when he’s forced to work in the diamond mines, finds a large, rare pink diamond. The two are thrown together, fueled by DiCaprio’s greed and Hounsou’s desperation. Connelly is on hand as a journalist, but the movie really belongs to the two men. Hounsou is fine as always, and Leo continues to mature as an actor. Some were surprised when his Best Actor Oscar nomination this year was for this film instead of The Departed, but his work here — complete with South African accent — is more believable and fleshed-out. Well-handled music by Howard combines lush underscore and African rhythms without being overpowering. Extras in this 2-disc set include featurettes on DiCaprio and Connelly, commentary by director Zwick, plus the most interesting, the documentary Blood on the Stone (A Diamond’s Path from the Ground to the Store), narrated by a Sierra Leone gemologist.