Nausea

I just got back from watching Syriana, and at this point I honestly feel like throwing up.

It’s not that there’s anything disgusting in the movie; no graphic depictions of bloodshed or anything like that. And it’s not like this is a photorealistic depiction of Middle Eastern politics, or of American oil politics; it’s a geopolitical thriller, and the matters were all heightened for that. The imam in the madrassa didn’t sound like an imam in a Pakistani madrassa, and reformers as genuine as the younger prince are about as common in this part of the world as… well, as honest governments. The obvious didactic bits like the “corruption is good” speech are curiously unaffecting. But something in this movie captured the basic essence of the whole matter, just how fundamentally filthy the whole business is. And by “this whole business,” I’m thinking of the whole matter of governance there, and of the various ways it gets played both internally and externally.

Anyway, it’s not a bad movie; as geopolitical thrillers go, I’d say it’s a notch below “The Constant Gardener,” and a notch above most of the other ones that have been made in the past few years. It’s definitely one of the few to really tackle the important political issues of our day, and not flinch from any of them, and that’s worth a look.

If you do go see it, some things that it didn’t really highlight but were there: the business/government tie on the US side is always implied, never direct. The movie isn’t claiming that oil executives put out hits on uncooperative emirs; the connection is much looser, and in fact it portrays it reasonably well. (In caricature, but the real thing is recognizably there) And that convoy at the end — all nice imagery aside, they are on their way to a coup. A nice game, this is not.

Advertisements
Published in: on December 13, 2005 at 23:19  Comments (15)  
Tags:

15 Comments

  1. So . . . the nausea sounds like the type induced by watching a first-person perspective video game that doesn’t quite get motion-blurring right?
    I’m hoping to see it soon.

  2. So . . . the nausea sounds like the type induced by watching a first-person perspective video game that doesn’t quite get motion-blurring right?
    I’m hoping to see it soon.

  3. Or possibly, that they got some of it a bit too right.
    I’m going to sit up late and study the Mishnah tonight…

  4. Or possibly, that they got some of it a bit too right.
    I’m going to sit up late and study the Mishnah tonight…

  5. I’ve heard that the message is basically “See this nastiness? This is what’s required for you to be able to buy gas for $2.” Accurate?

  6. I’ve heard that the message is basically “See this nastiness? This is what’s required for you to be able to buy gas for $2.” Accurate?

  7. Hmm… maybe in part. The bigger message I got was that this nastiness is what’s required to keep China from being able to buy oil at the same price. The domestic oil price is oddly decoupled from it… given all the “risk premiums” and non-Middle-East sources especially.
    Well, the other message is that some groups are so blindly on a course of maintaining this status quo by any means necessary that they won’t ever notice that it’s disastrous until long after the disaster has happened.

  8. Hmm… maybe in part. The bigger message I got was that this nastiness is what’s required to keep China from being able to buy oil at the same price. The domestic oil price is oddly decoupled from it… given all the “risk premiums” and non-Middle-East sources especially.
    Well, the other message is that some groups are so blindly on a course of maintaining this status quo by any means necessary that they won’t ever notice that it’s disastrous until long after the disaster has happened.

  9. so all in all, a GOOD date movie?
    Well assuming she’s into the regurgitation-all-over-the-place thing..

  10. so all in all, a GOOD date movie?
    Well assuming she’s into the regurgitation-all-over-the-place thing..

  11. Hmm… there were definitely dates in the movie. Mmm, dates…

  12. Hmm… there were definitely dates in the movie. Mmm, dates…

  13. Well you know what WASN”T a good date movie? Or actually just a good movie in general? Aeon Flux. Jesus god the two stars it got were two more than it deserved. Stay away, I’m tellin you.

  14. Well you know what WASN”T a good date movie? Or actually just a good movie in general? Aeon Flux. Jesus god the two stars it got were two more than it deserved. Stay away, I’m tellin you.

  15. Syriana
    The movie was hokum placed in the guise of reality. Like most t.v. and Movies it was nonsense (no bearing on reality or the profound). It was however, cleverly made to apeal to the jaded and cynical parts of people nature and take their suspicions to exteremes (of nonsense and unreality). In effect ,although I found the movie enjoyable/entertaining; the movie was emblematic of the idea that the best lies are ladden with truths i.e. the spies report to am yisrael on eretz yirael. All the best.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: