Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday Movie Night: Hotel Rwanda (2004)

I am sure people are aware of the events that happened in Rwanda, but it seems I don't hear many people truly seem to be talking about the horrendous events that took place there that was overlooked by much of the international community. This movie was much more emotionally riveting than I expected though, and I'm not sure how anyone could classify this film as boring unless you just don't have a heart. What really shines is the performance by Don Cheadle who makes this movie more than what it could have been.

Summary: This story is based on the real story of Paul, a hotel manager, who houses thousands of refugees from the genocide happening in Rwanda. The killings are over a long standing feud between the Hutu and the Tutsi's. Now that the Hutu's were the ones left behind in charge after the Tutsi's have moved out from oppressing them they are now attacking Tutsi citizens in the area and killing them and anyone who tries to hide them. In only three months, 3 million people are murdered, but Paul is determined to save his family and the people he has been housing from this same fate. Even with all the media coverage there is a little help from other nations to help them from the violence.

Acting: I would say the whole cast puts a lot into their performances. Even Nick Nolte as Colonel Oliver is good, but I found he could have been better cast. It's more so the fact he is the only character seeming to try to reach out and help that's inspiring. Don Cheadle is the best performance of the cast as Paul. I think what helps his character though is the fact he is based on a real guy, so it doesn't feel as sappy as it could. This guy really had a lot of obstacles to over come and help the refugees and it was no easy task, so it's inspiring to see how this guy had to be as strong as he did to make it happen. He also isn't portrayed as this ruthless, strong men either, which I liked. He will do anything to save his family, but he knows that a lot of the fact he's still alive is based on the fact he has been a kiss up as he has had to do to build good standing.

Filming: The style is subtle, and it's more the dramatic scenes and acting that take the forefront in the movie. One thing that seemed weak to me though was the score to the movie. There were moments when it was good, but other moments I felt I was watching a television movie with how weakly done it was. I felt it just didn't meet the level of how good the rest of the movie was though.

Plot: I think what does help the plot a lot is the fact it is based on true events and a real person. That does add a lot of the power and intense feelings you feel while watching, especially if you don't know the outcome of Paul's story. Don Cheadle embraces what it is to be Paul in this situation though and you can feel just every emotion he has to the situation poring through the screen. There were some moments I thought it was so horrific I wanted to turn away, but it's shocking. I did think the film showed how violent these people could be without getting too graphic. I just really don't like graphic violence, and I appreciated how they kept it at bay enough to maintain something that didn't even turn into a R rating, even though don't get me wrong it still looks very bad to watch. There is still one very painful scene where a child is pleading with one of the killers that she won't be Tutsi anymore if they let her live.

After watching Hotel Rwanda it will make you think about why our country has gotten involved in some things and stayed out of others. Why did the world cause this group of people to feel so abandon during this time? That almost makes the thought a bit terrifying to think about. The movie does get you emotionally tuned in to the movie though, and I have to say it was one of the most intense movies I've watched.

Rating 9 of 10.

Hotel Rwanda (2004) on IMDb

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