Drama, intrigue and diplomacy
TRUE STORY: `Hotel Rwanda.'
Hotel Rwanda, based on a true story, is the sort of film that moves the viewer by making the person feel intelligent. At the end of the show, phrases such as Tutsi genocide and Hutu militia mean something more than hazy memories of long-gone headlines.
But it would be a pity to dismiss the film as merely a clever way of drawing attention to the Rwandan atrocities. Because the film is a great watch. It has drama, intrigue and a lead man whose subtle networking, elegant trade of favours and clever bribery save about 1,200 lives that he shelters in Rwanda's posh Belgian-owned Milles Des Collines hotel.
Don Cheadle as Rusesabagina creates a fascinating character. In the midst of so much drama, it would be tempting to have played up the character. But Cheadle remains understated throughout. If Rusesabagina was played by someone more Hollywood, like say Denzel Washington, the character would be more obviously the hero of the story gorgeous, authoritative and an action hero with a helpless, glamorous wife. Because Cheadle's Rusesabagina comes to his own only through his actions. He knows the worth of a Cohiba cigar, the over 10,000 francs it costs, and he plies his important guests with the single malt scotch in exchange for favours.
The film is also a great illustration of the apathy of the haves against the have-nots. In a rabble-rousing dialogue, head of the U.N. peacekeepers, Colonel Oliver (Nick Nolte) tells Rusesabagina why no one's saving his countrymen ``You're black. You're not even a nigger. You're an African."
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu