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Gripping Odyssey Into REALITY !!!!
"Syriana" is one of those movies that takes you on a gripping worldwind tour of the Political Corruption, Oil Deprivation, Illegal Labor and Laborers, Closed Doors Smuggling, Terrorism and Spies that are right outside your own door. They are right at your cars gas tank as you "fill-up" on the way to work. Everything that happens worldwide and right next door that "does affect you"! And we don't even know it's happening. -- Based Upon Actual Events of a Book Entitled "SEE NO EVIL" written by a retired CIA Agent and his experiences - (and admittedly mixed with a degree of fictionalization for movie purposes) we are spun into the facade of the "Illusion of Justice" amidst the back-door reality of corruption that breeds and fuels Middle Eastern Conflict rather than actually even try to resolve it. All in the name of Money and Power....for a few, at the expense of many. US!! -- Very well-acted; to the point you forget it's a movie and feel more like you have the priveledge of walking amidst the conflicts. -- It's TRUE that "Syriana" is a very detailed narrative of very true realities and it can be complex to follow, but not if you are simply actually giving the film the attention it deserves. It's not a party movie or even as "Slam-Bam" thrilling as "Traffic" (with Drug Lords, Killings and Action around every corner). While being done by the same man who brought us "Traffic".... "Syriana" whispers in your ear, "watch closely" and then asks only your attention. It will bring you all over the world, inform you, introduce you and bring you all the closure to the subjects enraptured in the odyssey around the globe you take, even if you feel you won't see where you're going. Just put aside the time and blindly take the trip. -- In the end, you will appreciate the lesson learned....and really think twice when you hear the NEWS or stand in line at the gas station, "wondering" who actually may have given their lives or worse to try and bring something that seems so simple -- FUEL to America: amidst the men who lined their pockets with the blood of patriots. Don't miss this because you hear it's hard to follow. It doesn't need to be dumbed down. You will get the movie, if you just sit back and really watch....and listen. If you aren't looking for insight into today's overseas dealings, you can honestly miss this one and not feel bad. It's good but you aren't missing the greatest film put to camera. The lesson is worth seeing though, I recommend it.
hollywood does news
the only reason the film claims to be based on actual events is so they don't have to pay script writers for copyright. there really is no coherent story here or documentation of real people. News flash, the chinese are looking for oil, duh. the king makers in the middle east are oil companies and the CIA, more duh. hezbollah runs beirut, where have you been? it is hard to feel sympathetic for any of the characterizations. everytime you get ready for a real gut check, the story wimps out. i liked the acting performance uniformly of the entire cast, absolutely no weak link here. it is really hard to classify the genre, certainly not documentary, maybe it is a fairy tale for modern man, complete with ogres, dragons, princes and jousting. or just one more action-adventure heroically searching for a plot. just as you think George Clooney's character is the glue that puts this mess in perspective, the story runs on another 2 reels after his death. Interestingly Clooney was awarded 2005 oscar for role as best supporting actor. Since he has lead billing, exactly who was he supporting? The theatrical values are well done by Warner Bros. no universal "back lot" shooting, convincing sets well photographed. an interesting study for students of Farsi and arabic, fortunately there is abundent use of sub-titles. Despite all the correct technique and acting, this still has to be rated a subpar movie. it just doesn't deliver on the premise, purhaps competing with real news is beyond the scope of hollywood.
I hadn't seem this movie in theaters, and it took me about a year an a half to get around to seeing it. Let me say; this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I am an avid movie-buff; and Stephen Gaghan is one of the best directors / writers of this generation (and ever!) The use of multiple parallel story lines is unbelieveable. The amazing ensemble cast brings it all together. I would reccomend this film to anyone who enjoys great movies. It's no surprise that Gaghan's screenplay was nominated by the Academy for Best Original Screenplay; and George Clooney won an Academy Award for his role as Agent Bob Barnes. Four Stars.
Syriana (2006, DVD)
"Syriana", writer/ director Stephen Gaghan's follow-up to his Oscar winning screenplay for "Traffic", is an involving, complicated look at the oil industry. It is a very good film, but you are going to have to work at it, paying attention to every moment, in order to keep track of all of the characters, events and manipulation being depicted. Bob (George Clooney), an undercover agent, sells two missiles to a contact in Iran. One of the missiles is promptly taken away by an unknown second party., the other weapon explodes as the man who purchased it, drives away. Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) works for a small investment firm in Geneva, Switzerland. His firm is trying to become the advisors for the aging, ready to retire Emir and his two ambitious sons. Bryan, his wife, Julie (Amanda Peet) and their two sons are invited to the Emir's birthday party in Mallorca, Spain. After tragedy befalls his family, Bryan's company wins the coveted contract advising the Emir's oldest son. Bennett Holliday (Jeffrey Wright), a lawyer with a Washington, DC firm, is put in charge of scrutinizing the impending merger of two large oil firms, one of which is owned by Jimmy Pope (Chris Cooper), a good old Texas boy who doesn't seem to really want the merger. Dean Whiting (Christopher Plummer), a high level advisor in the government, quietly pulls strings to make sure the "right" son becomes the new Emir. All of these characters are involved in seemingly different storylines, and they don't really interact for a significant portion of the film. As you watch a few moments with Clooney in Iran, Beirut or Baltimore or a few moments with Damon in Geneva, Mallorca or the desert, Gaghan helps us to learn a little about these characters and their involvement in a story with a huge scope, spanning many countries around the globe. Towards the end when the storylines begin to overlap, and all of the machinations begin to make sense, you get the sense that the director has prepared us well, or as well as anyone could, to understand how all of these different people, all of these different factors, are involved in the story. If even half of the manipulations presented in this film are based on actual truth, it is no wonder the oil industry is so filled with corruption. The people who control this industry are wealthy beyond our comprehension and they want to make sure we stay that way and are willing to do anything, including changing the course of anot
Syriana deserved several Oscars!
This film is a serious presentation of how the oil companies are in bed with our U.S. politicians as far as our foreign policy is concerned, and it provides an accurate (though slightly fictionalized) account of the terrible things 'we' have done to other countries in the bogus name of 'national interest.' The film is closely based on a book written by a retired CIA agent who knows what has gone on for decades. The extra features on this DVD could have been better, but even with the few things it offers this is a great value to own and watch again and again. My wife is an archaeologist who has worked in Muslim countries for 25 years and who has taught "Islamic Culture & History" courses on a college level for 20 years. She plans to use our copy of this film in her courses and have her students do research reports on various aspects of the issues the film raises. This is NOT an easy film to understand--partly because the issues are very complex and partly because we are used to thinking of our country as 'the good guy.' I was in the Army as an officer during the early 1960s and was brainwashed by Kennedy, Johnson, & Co. It took me 4 years outside the service to realize that I and the American people were lied to by 'our' government. I since have learned that many other presidents have done the same, right down to Mr. Bush, whose millions come from oil--as do Mr. Cheney's. This film presents a lot of harsh truths, including the depths of corruption in our own government. If you are not ready to see such a film with an open mind, save your money and time for other things--and enjoy your SUV while you can.