Blog Master G

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Friday, February 3rd, 2006 · No Comments

syriana.jpg I saw Syriana last night — the first movie I’d seen in ages — and added it to my very short list of Oscar-nominated movies that I’ve seen so far: Star Wars: Episode III, Cinderella Man, March of the Penguins, War of the Worlds, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Batman Begins, and Crash. I suppose that’s more movies than I realized, but there are still a number I’d really like to see before March 5: Transamerica, King Kong, Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Chronicles of Narnia, to name a few. I have work to do.

My dad and I hit the Reel Meals Movie & Dinner theater last night for Syriana. This is a film that everyone should see, especially if you’d rather not think about where all the oil we love to consume comes from. The film is incredibly well done and very Traffic-esque in that it weaves together a number of seemingly unrelated stories that are all connected in one way or another. It’s also a very complex movie, so if you’re not paying attention, you’ll probably miss something. Even if you are paying attention, it’s difficult to follow. Despite my focus, I would even see it again just to better understand all the relationships of the twisted and corrupt world of oil, American business and government, and Middle Eastern royalty.

Despite the disclaimer at the end of the film that it’s fictional — though based on the non-fiction work See No Evil by Robert Baer — I have no doubt that this film accurately depicts the lying, violence, and greed that are the three pillars of the reality of the real-world oil industry.

The film is timely, of course, with Bush — and all his family and friends’ connections with the oil industry — still running and corrupting our government. In the film, the oblivious younger son of the Emir who is eventually appointed to become the new Emir of his father’s oil-rich Middle Eastern country — as a figurehead tool of the American government and oil companies — is eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush himself.

The acting of the all-star cast was superb, especially by George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Amanda Peet, who broke away from her stereotypical role in romantic comedies, where she recently starred with the likes of Ashton Kutcher (A Lot Like Love).

Syriana does an excellent job throughout the film in contrasting the two opposites that power the oil empires of the world — the rich men and royalty calling the shots, and the poor workers who no doubt risk their lives every day at oil refineries and on oil rigs. It’s a moving and important film for our time.

Tags: movies