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Stephen Gaghan Vs Steven Soderbergh

Syriana and Traffic have a lot of things in common, story-telling wise. And that's not a surprise because Stephen Gaghan wrote the screenplay for both the movies. We are allowed to voyeur many families, cops, top officials who make important decisions, suffer personal losses, who are corrupt, who fight corruption...

Gaghan is very good at presenting a story that spans multiple layers (geography, status, culture..) but I wonder if he has Soderbergh's eyes for every character. 'Traffic', inspite of it's multi-character-intersections, impressed every character on the viewer's mind. The same can't be said of 'Syriana'. Matt Damon, an energy analyst loses his son at a party hosted by an Arab Emir. We don't feel that loss; more importantly, we don't feel Damon's loss.

Roger Ebert writes:
The movie's plot is so complex we're not really supposed to follow it, we're supposed to be surrounded by it. Since none of the characters understand the whole picture, why should we?
He gave the movie four stars, the maximum rating. I wonder if that's a new narrative technique, where the viewer just feels engulfed and at some points overwhelmed at the whole proceedings of the movie rather than understanding every character's position, intention and action. The tag line for the movie is 'Everything is connected'. Well, isn't it ironical that we can't figure out the connection.

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