Movie Review – Syriana

Posted: June 16, 2013 in Movie Reviews
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If you are someone like me then Syriana gives you a feel of reading The Hindu’s open page. The movie is termed as a geopolitical thriller. It’s not a Green Zone or The Kingdom which rushes your blood. It’s an intelligent portrayal of oil crisis and the politics behind it. I don’t know what’s with oil and me. Sometime back when I watched There will be blood I was depressed. The film was brilliant. Even though I don’t see Syriana being as brilliant as There will be blood I’m still depressed. To know what’s the movie about you must have known at least the basics of the connection between oil and politics which I certainly didn’t know.


There is confusion right but I was trying to decipher it as the movie went along but couldn’t. The chaos stayed with me. May be it is the impression the movie wanted to create. Putting us in the middle of all these political jargon. In a way I thought the unclear unadulterated portrayal of politics was intentional and fairly so.

I don’t see any logic in giving Clooney academy award for the best supporting actor. Everyone was as brilliant as Clooney in the movie. To name a few Damon and Jeffrey Wright. Though Jeffrey Wright characterization was a little typecast he performed flawlessly. In addition to it the movie had a great background score and excellent cinematography, especially the scenes in Arab. The opening scene with the Allah hu akbar background too was brilliant, setting the mood first up.

Coming to the story, of the parallels the two stories that interested me the most were the Damon family and the Arab immigrants story because only in those two stories I could see human touch, others were fairly distant to me. May be those two stories were the one I truly understood. Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) has an ideal setting. A loving family of four situated in the land of love Switzerland. Those few minutes we see them living happily together makes us so attached to them. I loved the breakfast scene there. Most of time dinner table scenes come out very well and this was one example. I was most sad only when their family broke and till the end was interested in their story not only because I’m a fan of Damon. It’s because I didn’t want to see a family disintegrate.

The immigrants, a dad and his son made quite an impact in me in those initial few scenes itself. Wasim (Mazhar Munir) and his dad hearing that they’ve been fired when they reach their company and his dad not understanding it gave me a lump in the throat. Even while it becomes obvious that Wasim is going to end his life. I loved the innocence of his dad playing cricket while his son asks some money for his bus journey.

Those were the fairly simple storylines among others. Rest was simply confusing and that’s it. I don’t think I’ll be watching the film second time to know what I’ve to know. It requires a lot of knowledge, political awareness and keen observation. None of which I have. Even though I’m not might impressed with the film I could certainly take away something with the film and I should be thankful for the knowledge it gave me.

Stephen Gaghan was hailed for this screenplay of his. I couldn’t say it was similar to how Inarritu writes but it had a similar style. Inarritu was interesting for the first time then it was too easy to guess. And though he has various storylines he makes one common ending. At least there is one climax. Here the concept of multiple climax was well made. The idea of the lives of a distant someone affecting a totally unrelated person was superimposed. I liked the distance it maintained from each other’s life.

On an otherwise dull monotone throughout the film the explosion at the beginning and towards the end of the film wakes us up. Does that mean something?


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