It's nice to "hear" from
you again, Arnold, Again. (Isn't it amazing that
you would write again and your last name would be
"Again"? Unless your last name isn't
"Again" and you're just fooling me.
"Blood diamond" was quite
a good script. Not exceptional, but good.
Now some may disagree with me (and I like it when they
do), but, even though the stakes were very high and
there was heart-rendering moments when atrocities were
committed against innocent people, if you look at the
skeleton of the script, it wasn't all that
original. From the very beginning, the story's
path was set and we knew where it was going. The
diamond smuggler was going to transcend his selfish ways
and courageously sacrifice himself. He would
eventually be moved by the plight of the good-hearted
abused native man who only wanted to be back with his
wife and son. And, of course, let's not leave out
the humanitarian female reporter who would touch the
heart of this hard-hearted smuggler, who had a difficult
childhood. Quel surprise! (I throw in
a French phrase from time to time just to look cultured
and establish an air of sophistication and
learnedness.) And I really don't have to mention
the evil and greedy colonel (?) -- well, I think he was
wearing some kind of khaki uniform. (I guess I
just mentioned him.) There's action galore; many,
many bullets and explosions to stay clear of.
We're given many opportunities to care about the
hardened but charming smuggler. Do you notice any
pattern here? Or a lack of something that when it is
in a script it can make a good one great? I'll
tell you what it is.
is no complexity in this screenplay. When you look
closely at "Blood Diamond," you see a adroitly
fashioned melodrama. The hero, heroine, and the
villain are all clearly drawn, their destinies clearly
marked. How they get to their destinations is where
the story excels, providing a host of challenges and
conflicts, many moments of tension, surprise, shock,
compassion, sympathy, etc., along with a few chuckles.
But notice how the word here is "few." Few
chuckles. Very few. Could it be that this story,
notwithstanding its poignant and caring message about the
carnage and cruelty that accompanies conflict diamonds,
takes itself just a touch too seriously. And, just
like a diamond, could this story have had many more facets?