Don Cheadle, Nick Nolte
Paul Rusesabagina: How can they not intervene when they witness such atrocities?
Jack: I think if people see this footage they’ll say, “oh my God that’s horrible,” and then go on eating their dinners.
True story of Paul Rusesabagina (Cheadle), as he attempts to save his family and over 1,000 other refugees seeking shelter at the hotel in which he works.
I had never seen this before, but picked it up from Best Buy on sale for $4.99. Kind of like the events in the story, I had heard of the movie, but never took the time to watch it and see what it’s all about.
This is certainly a powerful movie, with great peformances all around, but for some reason it lacked the punch that I was expecting it to have. I think maybe by restricting themselves to a PG-13 rating, the film makers may have sacrificed a little bit of the true feeling of doom that these people must have felt. While we do see the terrible aftermath of the killing that went on, the only glimpse of it we see, in progress, is via a short recording on a small video monitor. To me, this is a situation where, speaking on a purely film-making basis, showing these atrocities in plain view – for the audience to see – would add huge amounts of tension later when the main characters are being threatened with a similar fate.
As is, it seems a little glossed over, and hollywooded-up at times. Though, there is a very effective scene where the U.N. seemingly swoops in to save the day, but we soon see that it’s not in the way Rusesabagina was expecting. That scene pulled me right into the movie and made me wonder what I’d do if I were on either side of that particular situation.
Overall, the subject matter here is so powerful and gut-wrenching, that just about any movie about it is going to evoke the same feelings. This movie is elevated further by Don Cheadle, and several other fine performances.
10 – 2 for being a bit too glossy + .5 for Don Cheadle = 8.5