Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hotel Rwanda - movie review


The man... and da man.
Hotel Rwanda gives the opportunity of a lifetime for Don Cheadle to play Schindler to a few hundred Rwandans who are being relieved of their life at every chance the Hutus get.The death toll in the Hutu-Tutsi (during 1994) clash reached a million and some ofthem were saved at the Des Mille Collines Hotel, that is being managed (very effeciently) by Don Cheadle. He plays an amazing cool-headed character who has the ability to lie, bribe, praise, blackmail whenever he has to and uses his diplomat skills with the effeciency of a diamond cutter. He is always composed, wears a tie even while being bombed and breaks down always in private.

This movie is very unlike the other genocide (read Jew-killing) self pity trips such as The Pianist and The Schindlers List. This movie is extremely positive, does not attempt to pull at our heart strings with a few 'maudlin scenes' but has a very realistic and practical approach to the problem. We dont see cheap gimmicks like cruel Kamp Kommandants shooting their guns off their bedroom at naked people, nor do we see the single red dress moving about searching for a doll in an otherwise black and white movie. The acts of kindness (which are a plenty) and the acts of violence (which are minimal... the movie is rated PG-13) are shown in a very offhand way.

The importance is given to the strong characters and how they react to the seemingly unending violence around them. This movie made me think about what Schindler would actually think of 'Schindler's list' after watching that obscene Hollywoodization of a noble man's noble deeed. Probably explains why Hotel Rwanda did not win the best movie Oscar... but then there were no Jewish reference in a genocide movie. How can it ever be complete?

Coming back to the Paul Rusesabagina, the amount of sacrifice that that person had endured is remarkable. His selfless act was more impulsive than pre-planned like in most real-life scenarios. And Don Cheadle.... what can I say ? It seems as though has become Paul Rusesabagina. (from how this interview goes). He even mentions that the Hollywoodization has been minimal. He has recieved the award of Immortal Chaplains but turned down the civilian award from the current President Kagame.

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