Syriana

Just got back from this, and I won’t lie, I really liked this movie. It is just about as dense a movie to come out in some time but for me, everything clicked together and the effect was just incredible. Pretty much everyone in the cast is great (Clooney, Wright and Siddig particularly) and it definitely has some really amazing moments.

In any case, I’d definitely recommend it to fans of Traffic, and for people who like complicated (but not necessarily confusing) movies.

Plan on seeing it tomorrow night when I get back into the city :)

I found the screenplay wonky beyond belief and borderline incomprehensible… I hope Gaghan did some rewriting beyond the draft that I read.

Saw it

And I think I need to see it again. Gaghan pulls no punches, most of the dialogue and intrigue is delivered with the full expectation that the audience are at least somewhat familiar with oil negotiations, the middle east and what lawyers do. (For instance, my friend turned to me and asked me what "build consensus really means,)

I’m really excited about films along this structure. Traffic, crash, and now Syriana. The interwoven stories riding their terse storylines into a powerful climax. More often that not, you would sacrifice characters to the general idea behind the film, which is fine since there are far too few films out there right now that deal with greater political and/or social problems. Sides, Character driven films are a dime a dozen in the independent league and the current mainstream one (Jarhead) seems to be doing well.

Watching Syriana makes me wish more filmmakers are bold enough to tackle greater global intrigue without the restrictions of standard Hollywood dramatization.

Really really liked this film, but at the same time I felt like it was too much info for a 2 hour movie (wasn’t traffic closer to 3?). And because it felt too dense, each segment actually felt a little superficial to some degree. I never felt like I was getting much genuine insight into these worlds, it’s just that this film put a bunch of somewhat common insights together. That being said, I still thought it was a fascianting movie.

First reactions

Didn’t seem as complex as the reviews made out. They don’t introduce the characters as you would in most films with obvious clues to their story and motive but its not too difficult to pick up after a moment or two.

It also seemed short. I wish they could have spent more time with each of the stories.

Really liked this film, and I actually enjoyed the nuggets o’ story arcs approach to it. None of the interlinkings felt pulp fictioned out of nowhere, and all of the stories were treated with an almost documentary brevity that left just enough to the imagination to be enjoyable. The ending was particularly good in that respect.

Saw it and liked it. I agree w/ Incendiary that it’s not as complex as reviews make it out to be. I don’t think you need to have inside info about oil negotiations to follow the plot – I know nothing about oil, and had no problems except that I couldn’t tell who “Dalton” was until Tim Blake Nelson gave his big speech. I liked the story (although, like “The Constant Gardner,” I thought it went a little overboard), really like Gaghan’s style, and thought the acting was good by pretty much everyone. More Dr. Bashir please!

I felt a lot more sympathy for Matt Damon than for his wife. Does that make me a bad person?

Big thumbs up for this movie.

Rywill- Dalton was on C-SPAN in Peoples Hernandez’s kitchen whining about campaign finance reform.

The only “confusing” things were the completely unexplained minor characters like Wright’s dad and William Hurt’s character that didn’t need to be fully explained for the movie to work. But the core plot was easier to follow than Harry Potter.
I’m a huge sucker for movies that respect the audience, so big thumbs up for me.

Also, I loved that Jeffrey Wright and Dr. Bashir had the two biggest roles in a movie starring Clooney/Damon/Cooper/Hurt/etc.

I’m sure he was, but I never caught his name. In other words, when there was all this “Dalton did this, Dalton did that, let’s throw Dalton to the wolves” stuff, I was like, “Who the heck is Dalton?” Not until the speech did I realize Dalton was the Tim Blake Nelson character. Then I was like, “Oh, him. I was wondering what he was in the movie for.”