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Syriana
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Syriana – Review

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

This is a political thriller about the Oil business and the people, who are entangled in it.
Bob Barnes (George Clooney), a CIA agent, is asked to assassinate Prince Nassir, the heir of an oil-rich gulf country in the middle-east, because Nassir (Alexander Siddig), has awarded a Chinese oil company the rights, which were long held by an American company (connex), for natural gas drilling in his country.
Connex has just merged with another oil company, Killen, to form the most powerful oil company in the world. Bennet Holiday (Jeffrey Wright), an ambitious attorney, is hired by the Justice department to perform due diligence. His boss, Dean Whiting (Christopher Plummer), tries to undo the Chinese deal by convincing the ailing ruler of the Middle-eastern state to appoint his younger, more callow, son his successor.
Energy analyst, Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon), is a rising star in an energy trading company in Geneva. His son dies as he attended a party at Nassir’s residence. As a result, Nassir offers him a deal that he can’t reject.
On the other end of the wage scale, Wasim, an oil worker, and his father have been laid off from their jobs as the Chinese take over the fields. Wasim, angry and desperate, finds solace in fundamentalist madras.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Syriana is as much about the corruption and the destruction that is fuelled by oil as “Traffic”, the director’s (Stephen Gaghan) previous screenplay, was about Drug trafficking. There is also a striking similarity, in terms of structure, between the two scripts. Syriana, however, is far more complex and sometimes confusing. It’s composed of different stories that run in parallel and sometimes interlock and overlap, which demands a high level of concentration in order to follow what is really going on. But in spite of that, it keeps you thrilled and hooked until the end.

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