Review Date: January 06, 2006
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Writer: Stephen Gaghan
Producers: Jennifer Fox, Michael Nozik, Michael Nozik
George Clooney as Bob
Matt Damon as Bryan
Jeffrey Wright as Bennett
This film seems to want to say a lot of things, but never really comes out and says much of it, so it’s up to the learned viewer to sit there, with plenty of workbooks, an encyclopedia and a trusty political science student by their side, to attempt to de-puzzle all of what writer/director Stephen Gaghan is attempting NOT to tell us. For me, I just got tired of it. I don’t mind waiting half an hour or even a full hour (like this film) before anything starts to make any sense in a movie, but you know what…it should start to make sense after that, and other than a few connections, a couple of conclusions during the film’s final 10 minutes, some basic points (there’s corruption in the oil industry, whoopdee-shit), I didn’t appreciate much of what was played out in this film and for a movie watcher, a movie-fan…well, that just plain sucks. Famed film critic Roger Ebert adored this movie, even though even he claimed not to have understood it all, and although I certainly respect anyone’s opinion to that, I need a little more out of a movie myself, especially one that features a very interesting topic, plenty of capable actors (kudos to George Clooney for his performance here) and seemingly interesting dialogue and directing. It all looked and felt good and authentic, but it ultimately left me feeling empty and angry inside. Not angry at the film’s message, but angry at its makers for not creating something more digestible to the layman – and by that, I’m not asking them to “dumb it down”, but rather, “crank up”…its coherence!
PS: Oh, and if anyone can tell me what the shit SYRIANA means…drop me a line, will ya?