George Clooney stars as the intelligence operative, Bob Barnes…
By Rebecca Redshaw
Remember when you were a kid and you rolled down the hillside just to get the sensation of dizziness when you tried to stand up at the bottom?
Syriana brings that feeling back without having to scrub out the grass stains.
George Clooney stars as the intelligence operative, Bob Barnes, in the Middle East and, although he isn’t on screen for an inordinate amount of time, his character serves as the key to understanding the myriad of characters that weave in and out of the story.
Based on the novel, See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism, by the real operative Bob Baer, and adapted for the screen by the director, Stephen Gaghan, Syriana tells a troubling story about a part of the world that is not really understood by most westerners.
Going beyond the barrage of news snippets that highlight extremists or the tragic aftermath of insurgents, the movie depicts families in business and political settings swirling around huge issues that will impact far more people than those they know.
If this review is confusing, wait ‘til you see the movie. Don’t even think of going for popcorn because Syriana requires your undivided, attention to follow more than the normal cadre of characters in an equal number of plots.
But, confusing or not, this is a good movie. Photographed with gritty realism by cinematographer Robert Elswit and tensely underscored by Alexandre Desplat, Syriana demands the viewer look at this part of the world in turmoil beyond stereotypical good guy/bad guy images. You’re never quite sure who to root for and, as odd as this may sound, that telling is refreshing.
Now, more than ever, one never knows “What is truth?” – whether reading a newspaper, watching the news, or seeing a movie. Given multiple points of view at the very least allows a thinking person to form his or her own opinion.
After seeing Syriana, my opinion is that, in spite of its confusing story line, its worth seeing.