Thursday, March 2, 2006

George Clooney, Matt Damon, Christopher Plummer, Chris Cooper, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Peet, Alexander Siddig, Mazhar Munir

"Everything is connected"

Cinema 6, SM Megamall

Oil industry political thriller

Based on a book by Robert Baer and under the direction of Stephen Gaghan (of "Traffic" fame) comes a political thriller about the oil industry. 5 different characters each of them playing a vital part in an intricate web of wheeling and dealing, rich subplots which can be developed into separate films of their own, all intertwined to grab our short attention span. A CIA operative played by an overweight George Clooney, an energy analyst in Geneva portrayed by Matt Damon, a disowned Prince/heir of a Persian Gulf country, a poor Pakistani worker in an oil company in the Gulf brainwashed by religious zealots and a corporate lawyer played by a subdued Jeffrey Wright, caught in a quadmire.
We are exposed to a world most of us can only dream of. The manipulations by the key players to make sure that the oil industry is controlled by a select few. Vying and jostling for their positions in the vast oil rich playground in the Middle East. Greedy rulers of Gulf countries pitting the competitors against each other. Corruption and rampant bribery as oil companies merge together to form giant conglomerates that would control the oil supply. It is all very fascinating stuff. A very complex industry so it is only fair that the film is complicated. The trick is to listen to the dialogue and play close attention and try to piece the links together. A bit difficult when you are faced with a lot of characters and you are lead from one setting to another. Geneva, Paris, Beirut, Washington D.C., Teheran, Persian Gulf. It was also interesting for me to see Dubai (my residence for 6 long years)being featured extensively in the film even though they just identify it as a Persian Gulf country.
It is a powerful film and quite timely with what is going on in the world right now. The war in Iraq, the Dubai Port company taking over 6 U.S. ports, terrorism and the rising oil prices. Whether we agree or not, it does play an impact on our lives because after all oil is what makes the world go round.

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