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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Syriana--Quick Review 

I have to say, I pretty much agree 100% with what Atrios says about it:
I appreciate what the movie was aiming for, and that the ambgiuities in the movie were part of the point. But for that to work the audience has to be really drawn into the movie, almost feel a part of it, to feel those ambiguities. I found the movie really distanced itself from the audience and so people were just left scratching their heads instead of feeling as if they were part of the insanity.
I think that's right, especially in terms of not really ever feeling emotionally involved with either the story lines or the characters (for example, I don't think they got enough into the Clooney character to really feel like he was the "hero" of sorts at the end--which is clearly what we were supposed to feel). I think these problems arose because the filmmakers bit off more than they could chew--they tried to show way too many of the facets of America's entanglements with the Middle East, and therefore didn't have the time to really nail down any of them with authority--all breadth and no depth, if you will.

That said, it was an entertaining enough movie, and certainly better than most. And great little performances by people like William Hurt and Christopher Plummer and Tim Blake Nelson (and many others). Way too much stylized hand-held camera action, though.
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