This item is currently not available. If you have this item,
Join and post it to share with others.
Syrianais an oil-based soap opera set against the world of global oil cartels. It is to the oil industry asTrafficwas to the drug trade (no surprise, since writer/director Stephen Gaghan wrote the screenplay toTraffic): a sprawling attempt to portray the vast political, business, social, and personal implications of a societal addiction, in this case, oil. A major merger between two of the worlds largest oil companies reveals ethical dilemmas for the lawyer charged with making the deal (Jeffrey Wright), and major global implications beyond the obvious; a CIA operative (George Clooney) discovers the truth about his work, and the people he works for; a young oil broker (Matt Damon) encounters personal tragedy, then partners with an idealistic Gulf prince (Alexander Siddig) attempting to build a new economy for his people, only to find hes opposed by powers far beyond his control. Meanwhile, disenfranchised Pakistani youths are lured into terrorism by a radical Islamic cleric. And thats just the start. As inTraffic, in one way or another all of the characters fates are tied to each other, whether they realize it or not, though the connections are sometimes tenuous. WhileSyrianais basically a good film with timely resonance, it cant quite seem to measure up to Gaghans ambitious vision and it very nearly collapses under the weight of its many storylines. Fortunately they are resolved skillfully enough to keep the film from going under in the end. To some viewers,Syrianawill seem like an unfocused and over-loaded film that goes, all at once, everywhere and nowhere. Others will find it to be an important work earnestly exploring major issues. In either case, its a film that deserves to be taken seriously, and its likely to be one that will be talked about for a long time to come. --Dan Vancini
More from Participant Productions
Why We Love Jeffrey Wright
Starring George Clooney
See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism
A political rant about oil companies, which will be dragged out of the closet whenever a Republican is President and put back into the closet whenever a beloved Democrat is President.
The name of the oil company is, of course, "CON"nex, so that the political fanatics who this film was made for can be sure to instantly recognize the universal symbol of their devil, conservative businessmen who keep a woman and children in the house and who don't partake of the radical ideologies of communism, the welfare state or Islam that inflame all liberals.
The basic plot is idiotically childish. There is no reform in the middle east because the United States in conjunction with big oil has assassinated the only liberal reformer, who believes in woman's rights, ever known to wear a white Arab's dress. Why? Because he was planning on selling our oil to China at higher prices than we pay.
Baer's books are better This movie is supposedly based on Robert Baer's non-fiction work on America's floundering espionage in the Middle East, but frankly there are so few similarities I wonder how the producers could dare to make this claim. The film, if anything, is more consistent with Sleeping with the Devil.
There are some very real aspects to the film, which came highly recommended to me by fellow Middle Eastern scholars. But except for the realistic portrayal of Islamic fanaticism, and acts of religiously motivated terror, I really didn't see what all the hoopla was about.
The acting, to be sure, was good. But the story is very confusing, and which corrupt officials and oil company executives are doing what evil to whom is often almost impossible to discern. I suppose that's one of the difficulties of being in the spy business.
But if you want to make a fictional movie about the spying, and how it is affected by corrupt politics and corrupt corporations, it's a good idea to tell the story in enough detail for viewers to figure out what the heck is going on.
Three members of my family watched this film, and all of us came away, well, disappointed.
If you want to know about Bob Baer's book, skip this film, read See No Evil, and then read Sleeping with the Devil.good movie but hard time following it this was a good movie from what i got from it but i thought it was i a little hard to follow at times..but in closing this film shows how far "FAT CATS" will go to make money. the only reason i have it 3 stars is because it is hard to follow.