Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A mini review of Syriana

Corporate corruption, oil and terrorism all intertwine in the controversial, but important "Syriana."

Loosely based on Robert Baer’s book "See No Evil," "Syriana" is a complex film that doesn’t shy away from tough issues. With President Bush downplaying Middle Eastern oil issues, at the same time he’s fighting a war in the region, this film is practically a Godsend.

George Clooney and Matt Damon lead a large cast and both give performances that linger in the mind. Clooney, who won a Golden Globe, even suffered back injuries while shooting a torture scene that is not for the squeamish. The supporting cast is populated by familiar faces, who all have memorable moments, especially Tim Blake Nelson, who gives an already infamous speech about corruption,

Written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, the film takes the same multiple characters/plotlines approach as his screenplay for "Traffic." "Syriana" isn’t casual viewing and even the most astute viewers may feel lost. That’s what Gaghan wants. The audience is dropped in the middle of an intricate plot and, like the characters in the film, are left to pull together the threads. The film’s pace is deliberately slow, but stick with it as the overall journey is worth the extra effort.

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