A Review of Syriana: A Canadian Obsessed with a Missing U.S. Missile, an Electrocuted Child, and Two Oil-rich Princes as Different as Night and Day
Politico-economic power and technological progress demand access to reliable energy sources. Oil-exporters and importers therefore depend upon long-term planning. But they also heed potential short-term upsets in “Syriana”.
Governments attempt to manipulate risk and uncertainty to politico-economic advantage in Syriana by writer/director Stephen Gaghan; and producers George Clooney, Jennifer Fox, Georgia Kacandes, Michael Nozik, Ivan Reitman, Jason Reitman, Jeff Skoll, and Steven Soderbergh. Robert Elswit, Tim Squyres, and Alexandre Desplat handle cinematography, editing, and music. Filming showcases Dubai, Egypt, Morocco, Switzerland, and the U.S. (D.C., Maryland, Texas).
The screenplay is adapted from See No Evil by Robert Booker Baer (born 1952), who appears as a CIA officer in the 128-minute film. Warner Bros. released the film on November 23, 2005 in the U.S. The film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. It won George Clooney Best Supporting Actor.
The movie begins with Central Intelligence Agency operative Bob Barnes (George Clooney) assigned to kill arms dealers in Tehran. One anti-tank missile detonates. Mohammed Sheik Agiza (Amr Waked) diverts the other for a suicide-bombing – executed by unemployed Pakistani migrants Wasim (Mazhar Munir) and Farooq (Sonnell Dadral) – of a Connex-Killen tanker.
The CIA assigns Bob to D.C. The agency cares about Prince Nasir’s (Alexander Siddig) granting China natural gas drilling rights and reassigns Bob to Beirut to assassinate Nasir. The Justice Department cares about Nasir’s decision forcing Connex into an anti-trust-violating, sink-or-swim merger because of Killen’s petroleum drilling rights in Kazakhstan. The Department has Bennett Holiday (Jeffrey Wright) and Committee to Liberate Iran member and Sloan Whiting partner Dean Whiting (Christopher Plummer) facilitate the Connex-Killen merger.
Upon retired CIA agent and friend Stan Goff’s (William Hurt) advice, Bob assures Lebanon-based Hezbollah militants and politicians that his assignment does not involve them. He contacts mercenary Mussawi (Mark Strong) about kidnapping Nasir. Mussawi grabs and roughs up Bob before de-fingernailing Bob. He is stopped from beheading Bob by Hezbollah’s arrival on the scene. But he publicizes CIA assassination plans for Nasir.
Bob heals in the U.S. Stan informs him that Dean instigated Bob’s being barred from computer access, investigated, and required to return all passports. Bob retrieves his passports after invading Dean’s residence and threatening Dean’s family. The missile wipes out Bob and everyone in Nasir’s family before Bob can warn Nasir.
The movie ends with Switzerland-based energy analyst Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) emerging uninjured from the explosion. He has $75,000,000 in oil interests as compensation for son Max’s (Steven Hinkle) electrocution at Nasir’s father Emir Hamed’s (Nadim Sawalha) estate in Marbella, Spain. He loses his economic advisorship with Nasir’s death. He returns to wife Julie (Amanda Peet) and son Riley (Nicholas Art) in the U.S.
Copyright: Wednesday, October 31, 2012, by Derdriu.