Because of the recent movie review here, I thought I’d add one to the ‘sphere.

I saw Syriana.

Since it always seems to be that whenever I review a movie I say ‘watch it’, I figure I should explain why. Well, I only review the ones I think are worth watching and recommending. Syriana fits that criteria too. It is a movie worth watching and I highly recommend it.

I knew I’d like it. So, maybe I’m biased. I knew I’d like it because it is a story worth telling.

The actors give fine performances. The plot and cinematography are excellent. The conclusion is…well, I won’t give away the ending…at least not of the movie itself.

It is hard to follow in places. There are a lot of characters in which to keep track. And, since it based on the book, “See No Evil”, I suppose I’ll have to read the book in order to get the complete ‘picture’. Don’t let that dissuade you from seeing the film, though. The film gets the point across.

And, what is that point? It cam be summed up as follows…

One person dies for what he believes.

One person dies because of what he believes.

One person dies to give his life meaning.

One person changes his beliefs because of people dying.

And, the rest? The ones in between?
The rest will die because they only believe in themselves.

It is a sad indictment of humanity. The good and the evil. The life we choose on this planet. The choices we make as individuals and as members of society. It is sad that dying for/because of/to give beliefs is necessary.

Would you die for your beliefs? Would you be killed for your beliefs?

Or would you keep doing what you have always done?

Me? I have taken the easy road many times. I have rationalized it with “discretion is the better part of valor”. I have talked myself into believing that “choosing your battles” and “keeping a sense of humor” is more noble. I have avoided the “dying for your beliefs”…even figuratively…at nearly every turn. I recognize my choices…and regret many.

Midway through the movie, I turned it off. I didn’t like the direction the movie was taking. I didn’t like the message. And, specifically because I’m a parent, I couldn’t bear to watch a child in the movie die. I couldn’t handle the sick feeling watching that scene gave me.

The next day I turned it back on and finished it. But, I was changed nonetheless.

Movies should do that to us. Stories should do that. Sure, sometimes we simply need stories to provide a momentary suspension from reality. Sometimes we need a laugh. Maybe we need a catharsis. But, for the most part, movies should make us think.

Syriana does that.

It makes you realize every fight in the history of mankind is about resources. They are fights between the haves and the have nots. They are about survival.

Take the news today. Isreal and Hezbollah. It is fight about resources.

Yes. Religion and Idealogy and Politics and Ethnicity are always used as the resons for these fights. But, at their base, they are still about resources.

Fighting for something in which we believe. Fighting to provide resources to the ones for which we are willing to die.

Syriana is sad because it tells us that humanity is cursed.