Black Gold


Enjoyable oil epic that falls short of greatness Discuss this article

On paper, Black Gold looks as though it ticks all the right boxes for a smash holiday film. Major stars? Check: Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto and Mark Strong all do a turn as sheikhs and princesses in this story of love and betrayal at the dawn of the oil age. Awesome landscapes? Check. It was filmed in Qatar and Tunisia and includes stunning desert vistas. Epic battle scenes? Oh yeah: there’s a tank and camel showdown in the sand. And yet, with all this going for it, the movie still falls short. Although it’s enjoyable, it’s not the game-changing film it was expected to be. Ringing in close to three hours long, the audience starts shuffling in their seats at about the two-hour mark. With multiple complicated storylines and a large cast of characters, it feels as though instead of wrapping up plot lines, the filmmakers just shrugged their shoulders and added another beautiful cinematic montage. A decent film and completely enjoyable in a vague sort of way, yet it’s solidly middle of the road, unfortunately.

By Jessica Davey
Time Out Doha,

Black Gold

  • Released: Thu, 24 Nov
  • Classification: PG15
  • Language: English
  • Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • Stars: Tahar Rahim, Mark Strong, Antonio Banderas

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