Saturday, June 24, 2006

Syriana: Grade B



George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Peet

Clooney is a CIA operative in Teheran, doing what exactly, we aren’t sure. Damon is a high flying financial consultant trying to get a contract with oil-producing sheiks, in some Arabic country, maybe Iran, maybe not. Wright is a lawyer-investigator for a big US oil company who is trying to find out something, or cover up something, we aren’t sure which. Later, Clooney is “reassigned” to assassinate an oil prince for reasons unknown (he is declared as “bad” by the government, and that seems to be good enough), but we don’t know if he is successful. A couple of Pakistani guest workers lose their jobs in the oil fields but that is not connected to anything else. Damon’s child drowns in a sheik’s swimming pool but there doesn’t seem to be any foul play so the tragedy is gratuitous to the story. Except there is no story. Good photography, acting, and script. A nice quiet movie, engaging. There is often a sense of high tension in the scenes, but in fact nothing ever happens. A non-thriller that had the elements of a great thriller. All it needed was a good filmmaker.

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