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Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Djimon Hounsou, Arnold Vosloo, Michael Sheen, Antony Coleman, Jimi Mistry, Marius Weyers
Director: Edward Zwick
Undeniably exciting in patches, this story of atrocities and adventure in 1999 Sierra Leone takes a mighty long time to go not very far.
Rebels invade the country and massacre villagers, splitting Solomon (Hounsou) from his family, leaving him to work on digging for diamonds under rebel commanders.
Finding a huge pink diamond, Solomon buries it in the hope of helping his family, but he is spotted by the rebel leader, who fortunately has half his face blown off in the next second.
Subsequently throiwn in jail, Solomon meets Zimbabwean diamond smuggler Danny (DiCaprio). They're soon joined on the dangerous hunt to reclaim the diamond by photo-journalist Maddy (Connelly). Naturally, she makes Danny see at least a little of the light, even if his thoughts stay fixed on the glittering prize. 'A moment of love,' says one character, 'even in a bad man, can give new meaning to life'.
DiCaprio is first-rate here, even if his accent's a bit wobbly and some of the supporting performances are below par. Perhaos we're a shade too familiar with man's inhumanity to man for the film to hit all its targets, and it is tryingly overlong, going on for a good 10 minutes after the natural ending.
USA/South Africa/Mozambique/Sierra Leone 2006. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
140 minutes. not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.
Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.
Review date: 22 Jan 2007