Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Movie Review: "Syriana" (2005)

what you can't see wont hurt you (snicker)

Heavy handed, intriguing and shocking (well, "smart" shocking, at least) are some of the few words I can use with relative confidence when describing Syriana.

It is the story of CIA operative Bob Barnes (George Clooney). a faithful, fiercely skilled agent in the trenches. Used and abused many times by his bosses. His latest assignment brings him to Iran and back to Beirut where he earned his notoriety among his peers. It is also about an Oil Economist Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) and his pursuit for a lucrative albeit righteous path for himself and his family, at the expense of tragedy. It is also the story of how oil affects the Global climate of trade and industry and how the power playes will do anything in their power to tap into the money machine that is the Persian Gulf petrol industry.

There are many facets in this movie that are very difficult to explain. Primarily, if you are not interested in the entire oil trade scene, Arabs and their excessive lifestyles or CIA conspiracies, this movie will leave you scratching yourt head, waiting for the next George Clooney scene (he appears more seldomly than you would initially expect) whare he doesn't exactly look his best. He's scruffy and untidy and has a gut in this movie. Not exactly meant for the ladies to ogle at. The political slant of the movie is very evident in the first hour. It's a series of scenes from seemingly unrelated events and characters spanning from Tehran to Switzerland which eventually meld into one large picture in the end.
One very notable asset of this film is the very talented mid-eastern actors who convincingly play their roles and generate sympathy very early on.

Fishing is much more fun than drilling oil for those stupid Americans!

A key scene in the movie are the analogic pool scene with Matt Damon's young child horsing around with other kids from different expatriate families in a pool club privately owned by the Emir of Iran. It seems to tell a sulte tale of the forthcoming tragedies that would befall Bob Barnes in the later minutes in the film. the kid representing Barnes. lso it represents The United States more as a kid being taunted and bullied by other nations and being a sucker to their every whim, especially to the arabs. Why? Acceptance, perhaps. Popularity. Power, or at least, the illusion of it.

Another key scene is the much talked about torture sequence in Beirut where Barnes is stripped down and...well tortured. A very nail biting and tooth cringing sequence. Short but intense.

Off the bat, the movie is not for everyone. It is for the well-informed and requires the full attention of the viewer, otherwise, it is very easy to get lost in the jargon-laden dialogue. the story telling is impeccably fast paced and is not afraid to alienate the viewer if he lags behind. It says to you "If you dont understand this movie, you are probably not smart enough".

Which is why I had to see the movie twice.

Who Farted?

Rocketboy's Rating: ****(4 out of 5)


Anonymous download movies said...

I still have to watch this movie.I download it yesterday but don't get time to watch it.So I am gonna do it tomorrow on weekend.I hope it will be entertaining.

3:50 AM


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