Watched Syriana for the first time today. As I’d heard, it’s a complicated movie, but I followed enough. Here’s what I got out of it: levels. If you followed its intracacies, it probably made for a very rich experience. But even if you did not, it was still compelling. I think this is likely because of the complex characters, especially the ones played by George Clooney and Matt Damon. You wanted to learn more about them, find out what drove them, so you wanted to keep watching. None of the characters were grotesques. All had likeable traits, or at least offered the viewer the ability to somewhat identify with them.
And while the plot was indeed hard to follow, it was a plot with serious themes, so you wanted to pay attention. If the story was only about, say, mixed-up romantic relationships on the Upper East Side, then I would have moved on. In fact, there are things about the plot that I could apply to my work (if I actually had a “work”)–the complex motives of the nation-state and its power players.