Friday, April 14, 2006


After months of anticipation we finally got to see 'Syriana', a political thriller whose Middle East scenes were mostly shot in Dubai. I have to tell you I was disappointed. Either the film was so badly hacked by the censors that you could not follow the plot, or it was so badly written and directed that you could not follow the plot. Either way, a lot of people in the cinema seemed to be having trouble following the plot, and at least half of them had wandered out before the end.

I'd be interested in seeing an uncut version, so if any Chinese DVD ladies are reading this, you know where I live...

But spotting the bits of Dubai was interesting, especially as we were at Ibn Batutta and a lot of the labour camp scenes were shot not half a mile away with magnificent views of the Jebel Ali Power Stations, the Ibn Battuta flyover, and a historical perspective of the Dubai Marina when Gotham City (the incredibly dense Jumeirah Beach Residence) was still an invisible baby. Deira by turns became Teheran with mountains in the background and Beirut with snipers on every rooftop.


Blogger Dubai Sunshine said...

I watched it on one of those Chinese DVD copies. Well, I watched part of it at least. I, too, did not follow much of the story in the beginning, and then I simply fell asleep. After 30 minutes of sleeping on and off on the couch, I gave up and went to bed.

Maybe I should give it another try, but I think this move was hyped up way too much!

10:35 am  
Blogger CG said...

I lost the plot in my chinese version. You can have it if you want.

2:04 pm  
Blogger skunk said...

it was slightly over hyped, or atleast wasnt correctly labeled :P

as a traditional movie it sucks, but it does capture the way business is conducted in the middle east quite accurately.

if you run your own business in the middle east you might get the film and actually relate to some of it. otherwise, yeah, you'll prolly fall asleep like alot of people did when i watched it.

9:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you cannot relate to this movie, then yes, it would seem irrelevant. For anyone who is from the Middle east or who lives here, I cannot imagine how you would not be very interested in the story this film has to tell. Furthermore, dont forget this film was nomin ated for best screen play and best supporting actor, there must be something good about it. I saw this movie way back when it first came out in January I think uncut of course, I want to see the UAE version in a cinema here in Dubai maybe they have hacked it so badly I dont know, but I have to say this is not an action flick, its not one of those "iv got a couple of hours to blow" type movies, you really need to sit and listen to what it has to say, and it says alot of important things. I will say this My brother watched it in an AD theater and he knows who left the film halfway through, its the Locals, they did not like what it had to say, and they were not willing to watch the rest of it.

8:43 am  
Blogger kaya said...

@ Anonymous

There may be a reason why they left.
Primarily because the cuss words weren't enough, secondarily not enough mindless violence and car chases and last but not not least not enough boobies.
lets be honest if you had the mind of a pubescent shabaab what would the point be without boobies.

9:37 am  
Blogger Harsha said...

ohh Speaking of boobies, anyone saw the picture of the newly engaged couple on page 13 of GN?

What an appropriate name for Munir Bashir's fiancee, who's name is 'Fulla', if you see the picture you'd know what shes fulla'

10:22 am  
Blogger H87T19A said...

The Movie SUCKS

I hated the way they portrayed the Arab World

Especially Lebanon
Not only that, the movie described the Arabs as simple minded, selfish, careless people.

Please!! Give me a break!!

11:26 pm  
Blogger Shafique said...

I watched the movie before coming out here and knowing that it was filmed in Dubai - it was recommended to me by someone who had seen it in the states. I 'ahem' managed to get a copy via my good friend bittor.. and have to say I enjoyed it. I found it thought-provoking and, yes, powerful.

It will be interesting to re-watch it and see if I can spot the landmarks.

2:34 pm  
Blogger Shafique said...

ps - can someone tell me where to get the Chinese takeaways, no vendors were to be seen in karama the last time I was there.

2:35 pm  
Blogger Harsha said...

walk through the shopping complex, quiet a no. will wisper in your ears asking if you want dvds.

4:12 pm  
Blogger A Yahya said...

The plot of Syriana is relatively straight forward, the way the director made it was deliberatly jaring and disjointed so you would have to think about the movie afterwards and then add all the pieces together in your head.

I think it takes at least two views to understand everything that was going on onscreen.

With that said I have seen the uncut version off Bittorent so I have no idea on how it looks like now that it has been mutilated by the UAE censors.

1:43 pm  
Blogger GMJ said...

hahaha! and i thought i was the only one. it was an utter disappointment. and people just walked out! when indians were badly portrayed, i would see a couple of indians leaving the theater. then 3 lebanese people left (and thats coz lebanon was badly portrayed). then many locals followed for the same reason.

what a crappy movie. seriously. i didnt understand a thing. and even if i did, the script was bad and the whole idea was even worse. and to top it all, dubai didnt even get credit for this movie. what pissed me off is how they would clearly type "USE, VIRGINIA" when a scene in America comes up.

but gorgeous dubai was merely "persian gulf". bad publicity thats what it is.

i want my 30 dhs back.

ps: george clooney speaking arabic was priceless LOL so very hilarious. i think thats what made me stay till the end of the movie. it was amusing hearing them speak in arabic.

4:25 pm  
Blogger inmotion said...

It really wasn't that bad.

4:12 pm  

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