Syriana

Does an excellent job of using the personal relationships of those on the multiple frontlines to try and make sense of the out-of-control freight train that is the West's love of cheap oil from the Middle East.

Film Review by Mark Jeffries | 17 Mar 2006
  • Syriana
Film title: Syriana
Director: Stephen Gaghan
Starring: Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright

Given the heightened level of political sensitivity in the Western world today, Stephen Gaghan's 'Syriana' manages to walk the finest of lines when it comes to political filmmaking. Using the multi-angled approach of 'Traffic', for which he received a Best Screenplay Oscar, Gaghan paints an intricate view of the Big Oil/CIA/Terrorism trifecta. It becomes clear that what's at stake, how we got here and how we'll get out of it go way beyond any petty red state/blue state semantics. Politicians seem to be a moot point since the real decisions on foreign policy are seen to be made by executives in high-rise conference rooms and quick-moving lobbyists who know how to get what they want and worry about cleaning up the mess later. Much like 'Traffic', 'Syriana' has many loose ends. But Gaghan does an excellent job of using the personal relationships of those on the multiple frontlines to try and make sense of the out-of-control freight train that is the West's love of cheap oil from the Middle East. With standout performances by Jeffrey Wright as a lawyer getting his first glimpse behind the power curtain, and Matt Damon as an upstart energy trader seeking redemption after unimaginable loss, 'Syriana' features a truly ensemble cast without a single weak link in the entire bunch. A few points do become evident; we are in the Middle East for one reason, to take their oil, period. Is it right? No. Do we need it? You better believe it. [Mark Jeffries]

This film is released on Friday March 3.

http://syrianamovie.warnerbros.com