The Manchurian Candidate Review

In the 60’s, most of the grand American movies had two types of villains – either the aliens or the Russians. The Manchurian Candidate is thankfully about the latter. It deals with a plot which oddly seemed genius and vacuous at the same time, that one part of you wants to fully immerse yourself in this thrilling tale while the other parts of you yearns to find holes in this script and finds them, only to disregard them later, for this is too much off a fun movie.

It deals with the concept of brainwashing (or dry cleaning of the mind, as it is referred to in the movie) where a trigger makes a man subject to the will of his operator. On the surface this idea does look doltish, but so does a man falling in love with his operating system. But, what makes these movies classics is the fact that everyone seems convinced of this idea. That enough evidence is put forth so as to make it believable.

The Manchurian Candidate has the structure of a Hitchcockian movie, thronged with twists and beautiful women, and to no surprise considering how obtrusive the novel from which it was adapted was, in terms of sensuality. To be honest, it seems like the only fallacy in this movie, and a very major one considering how large an influence it has on the movie, that none of the romances here are chalked up, particularly the one concerning Janet Leigh.

Yet, if we look beyond that, this is a really intelligent movie, in its own way, a kind of a science-fiction. There is a cracker of a concept here, and the makers do construct a plot which does make the viewer be on the edge of his seat. Considering the age in which the movie was made, there is exceptional professionalism maintained in preventing this movie from going over-the-top.

In this era, I do not think the concept and treatment of The Manchurian Candidate holds up much, but that clearly did not deter Hollywood from coming up with a needless remake, however, by considering the time when it hit the screens, it affirms that it was an explosive movie which clearly took sides, instead of the movies nowadays which are like pups wanting to be petted by everyone. The Manchurian Candidate is hell of a fun movie. Thrilling, yes, but not a great one. However, I wouldn’t mind recommending it to anyone who cares.

RATING : 7.8 / 10

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Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.

Syriana Review

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Economics is a social science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between the ends and scarce means which have alternative uses‘ said Lionel Robbins. This is considered as the modern definition of economics and this definition is considered to be ‘scarcity oriented’. ‘Human behaviour, society,relationships‘ are the words that echo throughout my mind after watching Syriana.

Micheal Gaghan’s Syriana depicts the effects of the merger of two oil companies named Connex and Klein on various individuals right from an aspirant for the next Emir to a jobless Pakistani worker and everyone in between.

Syriana isn’t a geopolitical thriller about oil industry at its core, it is a drama. It studies human relationships and the impact an industrial event has various human relationships spanning various continents. One is set in Kazakhstan, three in America and one in a faraway country not mentioned. But the impact is the same. There are drastic consequences to each party involved.

The movie’s tagline is ‘Everything is connected‘. Never has a tagline seemed more appropriate for a movie with respect to its content. Syriana is directed by Stephen Gaghan, the same individual who wrote the screenplay for Traffic. The movie is loosely based on the novel ‘See No Evil’. The screenplay is rock solid, as expected. There isn’t a single hole in the movie’s screenplay.

I love movies which demand you to pay full concentration to the flick. Do not watch them if you watch movies as means of stress busters on weekends. I recommend (500) Days Of Summer for that exercise. Syriana is a movie that is very demanding in its nature. Stephen Gaghan has taken up a screenplay which many may consider as inappropriate to be made into a movie and to some extents, they are right. Syriana requires utmost attention from its viewer, if it wanders for even some minutes, the viewer will be lost for the remaining narrative to be unfolded.

It is very disturbing in its nature and very very hard to comprehend. When I finished watching Syriana, I felt ashamed of myself. I felt as if I hadn’t given something great the attention it deserved. I immediately checked out Ebert’s review of Syriana. And I was assured to write this review. Syriana isn’t meant to be understood by us, the general audience, it is written to be comprehended by intellectuals. But, for us, it is meant to be a dramatic thriller. A movie in which how much we try to understand, we fail to grasp, but still feel satisfied in the climax.

George Clooney is tantalizing as Bob Barnes. He sheds all the star factor in him and becomes the character. Matt Damon is superb in his role as well. And so are the other actors. Amanda Peet is phenomenal in this movie.

Syriana is a slow paced thriller. It is a compelling character study. There are various plot lines intersecting at various points. Moreover, it is a apt description of how everyone from up to low is affected by economy. The whole point is that oil is running out and everyone wants it and will do anything for it. It shows human nature in its lowest grade, a society which is driven by greed. It shows how money changes humans. But, the very fabric of the film is the underlying father-son relationship in each of the narrations. It is a struggle of how these characters try to keep a normalcy in their loved ones while being embroiled in these great crisis. Some break, while some come out stronger.

It is also a fascinating insight into magnitudes of events we choose to ignore. A uncomplicated death of a young boy sets into motion a world changing crisis. It is a standing testimony to the fact that history is shaped by small events. Take the example of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. A small insignificant death triggers one of the greatest horrors in the history of the world. I also recommend you to watch the dual-episode concatenation of such a conspiracy which unfolded in Pandora and Linchpin, the best episodes of one of my all time favourite television series Castle.

To try to understand the script in its full sense is an exercise in futility. It is enough material to write a book as big as George RR Martin writes. The movie’s biggest fault is that it assumes that the audience as bright as it is. Most of the audience, like me, isn’t. For a movie of a running time of 128 minutes, this flick deserves much more clarity. It doesn’t justify the running time. Don’t get me wrong, it is superbly edited by Tim Squyres but it needs more explanation. We are lost in this movie. It needed something uncomplicated to run it. It needed a false perception that could give the audience the satisfaction of understanding Syriana. Believe me, nobody wants to come out of the cinema hall and acknowledge that they didn’t understand the movie they just saw. Many people have the ideology that movies, which are means of entertainment, cannot get the better of them. The relationship that a film maker has with audience should be strong for a movie to work, and here it does seem feeble in nature. Syriana is as complicated as it gets, and for its own bad, that doesn’t change at all through out the movie.

The movie is not for general viewing. It is definitely not for everyone. It has a terrifying torture sequence which even I couldn’t watch. It scared the living crap out of me. But, the climax gets it right. It puts into limelight the emotional core of the film. I felt like crying. I still don’t know why. Maybe because it is when it hits you how broke these characters are in real life. And (next sentence is a spoiler, please skip it if you haven’t watched the flick) I can assure that the expression on Clooney and Siddig’s faces seconds before their last moments touched something deep down in my heart.

The score haunts me to this day. This movie would have been a insipid, colossal failure if it wasn’t for the score by Desplat, which well deserved an Academy nomination. The whole movie is burdened on this score. Being a slow paced thriller, it requires the score to keep up and give the audience those timely adrenaline rushes and Alexandre Desplat never fails in his job, proving himself as one of the best composers we have. And that piano solo is the plight of all the characters put into a single theme which may be one of the greatest themes ever composed. Never have I heard something so soothing yet so haunting in its nature.

Syriana is a gritty, slow paced thriller set within the oil industry, but at its core is a disturbing drama about human relations and how money affects every one of them to drastic extents. It lags in various portions and is hard to keep up with it and is a one-time watch, but should be appreciated for its great effort and its tantalizing performances.

Rating : 8.1 / 10

THANKS FOR READING. IF YOU HAVE LIKED/HAVE DIFFERENT VIEWS / HAVE ANY  DOUBTS, PLEASE SHARE. YOU CAN ALSO REQUEST A REVIEW OF A MOVIE OR SITCOM IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. I WILL RESPOND TO IT AS SOON AS I CAN. AND PLEASE SUBSCRIBE FOR MORE. YOU CAN FOLLOW ME ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE TOO https://www.facebook.com/pages/Demanded-Critical-Reviews/1565666967024477?ref=hl YOU CAN ALSO E-MAIL ME ON castlebang786@gmail.com OR favebook2011@rediffmail.com

Photo Rights : Google Images, Wikipedia

Copyright : All written content on this site, unless otherwise noted, has been created by the website owner. As such, the content is the property of the website owner. This content is protected by Indian and international copyright laws. If you wish to reproduce, re-post, or display any of our content on your own site please only do so if you also provide a link back to the source page on this website and properly attribute authorship. Our preference is that you seek our permission before doing so. If you see anything on this website that has not been properly attributed to its originator please contact me. In response, I will attempt to correct the attribution of the offending material or remove and/or replace it. All material on this website is posted in accordance with the limitations set forward by the Information Technology Act, 2000. If a documented copyright owner so requests, their material will be removed from published display, although the author reserves the right to provide linkage to that material or to a source for that material. As a website devoted to discussing and reviewing movies and television I will at times, for illustrative purposes, present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always be specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available  for purposes such as criticism, comment, and research. The website owner believes that this constitutes a “fair use” of any such copyrighted material because the articles published on this website are distributed for entertainment purposes.