I wanted to get the review down before my emotions settle back into their usual catatonic state.
This movie was pretty intense, long story short. Don Cheadle gives an amazing performance as Paul Rusesabagina, the manager of a hotel in Rwanda (hence the title) who gives refuge to over 1,000 people who most likely would have been killed by rebel forces running amok throughout Rwanda. (Unfortunately, 800,000 others were not so lucky)
Talking with The “Wif” during the movie and I told her (and keep in mind that I may be just talking out of my ass here) that since Somalia happened only a year or so previously, America just wanted to stay out of it this time. It’s unfortunate but as one of the character’s says towards the beginning of the atrocities, “I think if people see this footage, they’ll say Oh, my God, that’s horrible. And then they’ll go on eating their dinners.”
I guess the wounds from Somalia were too recent to run the risk of Marine corpses being drug through the streets. What a mess back then, I barely remember the whole fiasco with Somalia. In 1994, when all of the Rwandan craziness happened, I was a junior in high school and I’m sure the last thing on my mind was tragedy a million miles away from me. Getting older, though, makes me interested in this type of history.
Enough of my rambling, let’s talk about the film.
Don Cheadle. Let me say his name again. Don Cheadle. I remember first seeing him in Boogie Nights and thought that he was a pretty fine actor. He has come a long way from that. I would have to say that Don is rapidly making his way up my fav actors list, with the exception of his performance in “After The Sunset”. It kind of makes you wonder how much of an influence a director may have on an actor. Everything that Don Cheadle has been in has been a good film (in my humble opinion) except for that steamy pile of crap. They could have just called it “After The Good Movie (comes THIS one)”. Don Cheadle made his Paul Rusesabagina a very believable and “deep” character. This was a neutral man, placed in a position where he was forced to choose a side. A horrible thing to have to deal with for anyone, Don Cheadle’s Paul makes his decision and risks alot of things for his decision.
Nick Nolte as the leader of the UN peacekeeping forces was a pretty interesting cameo as well. He did a great job as another man attempting to follow orders yet not believing what was happening in front of him. A very conflicted character.
Joaquin Phoenix was in it as well, although not for long. As a cameraman who is one of the first foreigners forced to leave, he did a good job as well.
I guess I’ve rambled enough but I can’t seem to say enough good things about such a fine film based on a horrible experience. I enjoyed it immensely, as did The “Wif”.