A fisheries expert is approached by a consultant to help realize a sheik's vision of bringing the sport of fly-fishing to the desert and embarks on an upstream journey of faith and fish to prove the impossible possible.
In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, in Arabia, Emir Nesib of Hobeika defeats Sultan Amar of Salma after years of war between their tribes and they make a peace treaty creating "The Yellow Belt", a large no man's land that would separate their lands and would not belong to neither of them. Further, Nesib demands the sons of Amar, Saleh and Auda, to be raised together with his children Tarik and Leyla by him in Hobeika as a guarantee of their agreement. Fifteen years later, representatives of the Texas Oil find oil in the Yellow Belt and the modern and liberal Emir Nesib sees the opportunity to improve and modernize the life of his tribe, building hospitals and schools, and the American Company begins the exploitation of the oil field, violating the peace pact. Nasib sends a representative to make an agreement with the fundamentalist Sultan Amar, but he does not accept the offer. Saleh decides to travel to Salma to talk to his father and kills his two companions, but he is ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud Set in the 1930s Arab states at the dawn of the oil boom, the story centers on a young Arab prince torn between allegiance to his conservative father and modern, liberal father-in-law (plot), it is the highest budget Arabian related film since LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) and was one of the most anticipated film events in the international film community this season, despite the hype, however, the film was met with mixed reviews after the press screening and premier. Expectations were high and while many were left dissatisfied, others rated it a smashing success as it apparently followed the book to a tee, I have not read the book so perhaps I am missing something, but being that I have seen a number of impressive films of late that were made for under the $1 million mark, BLACK GOLD felt like a significant letdown with its $55 million production price-tag and lackluster deliverance.
The highlight of the film was a fantastic performance by lead role Tahar Rahim (A PROPHET, 2009), his soulful eyes and magnetic vulnerability can work in any film whether speaking or just looking into the camera sans dialogue. Mark Strong also plays a great bearded royal Arabian Sultan Amar, even though he speaks with a distinguishable British accent. The roles that threw the film off were those of Antonio Banderas and Freida Pinto. It is almost impossible to watch Banderas play Bedouin Sheik Nassib without constantly being reminded that he is, in fact, Antonio Banderas. Freida Pinto lends the film her stunning Indian looks as Princess Leyla, but unfortunately her dialogue consists of cliché one-liners that might have saved the movie if not uttered; of course bad film writing is bad writing however delivered.
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