Rather than me writing a half-baked review on the movie, I’ll quote an amazing paragraph I read in IMDB’s message board. To realize what this movie represents beyond the individual characters is further mind-blowing.
“At the risk of oversimplifying things…I think it’s helpful to look at the film as an intricately woven metaphor spun from an everyday “snapshot” of what’s going in the world to guarantee American access for oil. The brilliance in the film, for me at least, is in the totality of that snapshot; it captures everything, good bad and indifferent.
The characters aren’t so much driven by themselves, rather they are what they represent. For instance, Christopher Plummer’s character, beyond whoever-the-hell he’s credited as playing, is America. George Clooney’s role, beyond “Bob,” is that of the “intelligence community” in America.
Matt Damon, beyond the energy consultant, is the well-intentioned, market-economy in America. Matt Damon’s wife is everyone who’s just trying to get by and be happy in America. Together, they sort of represent “the people” of America, and their child who dies in the pool is the American G.I., the people’s sons and daughters, caught up in something completely out of their control, yet still paying the ultimate price just for being there.
Everyone’s character, all the way through, even down to the African man who tries in vain to get on the elevator with Damon, Clooney and “the good prince” (can’t remember the actor or his character’s name), represents something else. And it makes film insanely good.
Just that small elevator scene speaks volumes because in that snapshot, you see America’s treatment of the problems in Africa. You’ve got the American business community (Damon) and the American intelligence community (Clooney) all too busy focusing on the Middle East (the Prince) to notice, or care, that Africa is being neglected and left out. It’s just a moment in the film, but so, so powerful.
And that’s really what the whole movie is. Just a big, smart [metaphor] with everyone playing a part.”
Thanks ben_m_hall, wherever you are.