Just back from seeing Syriana. It was interesting that somewhere between ten and fifteen people left the cinema during the film, and I’d put most of them at under twenty. To be honest, I could see their point. My knowledge of the middle-east is, frankly, non-existent beyond the basics, and I got lost very early on as to who was where and even which city was in which country. But I stuck with it and hope I managed to figure out much of what was happening, although it’s likely that many subtleties passed me by.
The whole film is quite extraordinarily bleak, and on the drive home I was trying to decide what I felt. The cynic in me wants to claim it’s very likely to be realistic, but I just can’t bring myself to believe that it’s an entirely accurate representation of the real world. Sure there’s plenty of personal/national self-interest, corruption, and abuse of power in the political world, but you’re telling me there’s nobody at all with any decency? I don’t buy it. I’m not after a wonderful happy ending, but I don’t think ramming ‘everything is crap’ down an audience’s throat is helping anything. But, then, was the film actually trying to make a statement, or just tell a story?
This is why I don’t do reviews, dammit, I always end up saying ‘art is inherently subjective and nobody knows anything and nothing is right and nothing is wrong’. Argh.