Sunday, January 15, 2006

eyeCandy: Syriana (2005) 4/5

Wow, busy, busy past week for me. However, in the interests of starting this week off on the right foot, here is a review of a movie I saw this weekend. :-)

Syriana is a political thriller focused around the oil business and intelligence interests in the Middle East. The myriad characters and crossing storylines (as well as the political aspect) is very reminiscent of Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (he was an Executive Producer on this film), although I don't find Syriana to be quite as successful a film.

The movie is based on ex-CIA operative Robert Baer's book, "See No Evil - the True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism. In the film adaptation, George Clooney plays Baer's character (gaining 35 pounds to do so), Matt Damon is a US energy consultant employed by one of the princes in Iran, Christopher Plummer, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Cooper, and a host of other well known Hollywood actors, round out a large and talented cast. This is a film that you need to pay attention to - the storyline is thick and intricate, and distributed between a half a dozen different interwoven tales. Like Traffic, Syriana (though again, less successfully) aims to show the range of individuals involved in the central theme, from young terrorists, to wealthy businessmen, to CIA agents, to Iranian royalty.

Those not particularly intrigued by this subject area, or who don't like to have to pay close attention to a movie for it to be rewarding, might be advised to take a pass on Syriana. But for the interested and attentive, the 126 minute Syriana is well worth seeing.
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1/15/2006 10:17:00 p.m.  


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