Black Gold

"Very Good"

Black Gold Review


The history of the oil industry in Arabia is reduced to a fast-paced adventure movie in this lively project that probably should have been a TV series. It keeps us thoroughly entertained, but only manages to flesh out a couple of characters.

To bring peace between the two leading kingdoms in 1920s Arabia, Sultan Amar (Strong) allows Emir Nesib (Banderas) to raise his two sons. Younger son Auda (Rahim) grows up as a bookworm with a soft spot for Nesib's daughter Leyla (Pinto), which comes in handy when they are asked to marry to link the two kingdoms. But their fragile treaty is strained when Texans arrive and start to to drill for oil: Nesib rather likes the money, but Amar sees this as a violation of their treaty.

It becomes clear early on that Auda is the right man to lead these two warring nations not only to peace but to prosperity as well. But juggling the disparate interests of greed and tradition isn't going to be easy. Indeed, the film paints Auda as some kind of promised one who's able to be exactly who he needs to be at the right time, whether that's being a loving husband, dutiful son or a military commander who unites the tribes and leads them into battle.

Fortunately, Rahim underplays the role perfectly as an almost reluctant hero.

He may be the smartest man in the tent, but he doesn't really want to have greatness thrust upon him. By contrast, Banderas and Strong seem to be chomping on the scenery, even though each of them also finds subtlety in the surging script. Pinto even has a few strong moments in between the scenes when she just bats her eyes and looks stunningly beautiful.

What makes the film a bit frustrating is the way it charges through the story without taking the time to deepen the situation or the characters. This impeccably made film is a rapid-fire sequence of vicious attacks and epically staged battles punctuated with potent dramatic conversations. There isn't a throwaway moment in two and a half hours. Frankly, it would be great to see this stretched out over a 12-part series.



Black Gold

Facts and Figures

In Theaters: Friday 8th June 2007

Box Office Worldwide: $5.4M

Distributed by: California Newsreel

Production compaines: Doha Film Institute, The

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Fresh: 41 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Tarak Ben Ammar

Starring: as Sultan Amar, as Emir Nesib, as Leyla, as Auda, as Ali, Lotfi Dziri as Sheikh of Bani Sirri

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.