Letters to the Editor
Not all right on this one
I am a regular and avid reader of Godfrey Cheshire's film reviews. Compared to previous acuminous critiques, Cheshire's recent take on Gaghan's Syriana falls short. It's not that he is not probably right about the film. I myself have no desire to experience another pseudoexperimental, non-linear filmic narrative, which sacrifices depth for methodology. This is the critique's well-taken point; unfortunately, it is repeated incessantly throughout the article. It would have been a more riveting read if the reviewer had plumbed the differences between complex narratives found in French cinema and David Lynch flicks and these affected TV mini-series type films (Syriana, Crash)--a cutting edge difference Cheshire merely mentions in passing. Cheshire knows that a film need not be linear nor all its narrative strands resolved in the end to be meaningful or compelling. In fact, a key question raised by Syriana is whether the scandals, the corruptions and affairs which plague modern democratic political systems can be fully deciphered by rational discourse, whether or not unintelligible connections and visions are always a part of the story as well. Any serious critique of the film would have to grapple with this question.