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Movie Review: Syriana

Syriana is a riveting thriller starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Christopher Plummer and a terrific supporting cast. It is expertly directed by Stephan Gaghan.  The movie is a collage of multiple, intertwined plots all relating to the petroleum industry. 

One is the tale of a Pakistani father and son, toiling at a refinery to fulfill their dreams. Another plot  is of a CIA agent Barnes(Clooney) who is penalized by his own government, first for whistle blowing on an illegal arms deal  and then for doing his job in trying to carry out an assassination plot. 

Then there is  the story of Woodman(Damon), an energy expert who tries to work out a mutually beneficial deal  between the US and a Middle Eastern Country through a visionary prince Nasir, who is pro modernism in his country.

Finally, there is the tale of ruthless executives of an American Oil corporation, trying to make an unscrupulous deal with Nasir's brother, who is not for modernization and wished to continue the existing form of rule in his country.
 
All of these plots come together at the end, to make an explosive, unexpected set of endings. This form of cinema with multiple related plots, reminiscent of movies like 'Short Cuts' and 'Traffic' has aptly been named 'Hyperlink Cinema' by Roger Ebert. It takes ingenious editing and expert direction to create a masterpiece like this one. 

Enhanced by its  stellar cast, Syriana is a memorable movie, and will stand the test of time as a classic. The flick picked up two well deserved Oscars in 2005, one for screenplay and one for best supporting actor(Clooney). If you have not seen it yet, go ahead and rent it.

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