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Babel

Drama movie directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

< read all 10 reviews

Iñárritu tackles another amazing film

  • Mar 25, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+3
It is difficult to make one good film, but director Iñárritu manages to make three good short movies. I expected the stories to be connected in a strenuous manner. Instead, I was treated with an interesting and emotionally satisfying production that succeeds in making a point that the world is a very small place. Brad Pitt is barely recognizable with a beard and several wrinkles. But the imperfection of his features doesn't matter when compared with the realistic passion behind his performance as the husband to his wife, Cate Blanchett, that mistrusts him. When his wife suffers from a bullet wound, you forget all about his stardom and focus on his love. Blanchett has less of a role to play as the wounded wife, but she effortlessly conveys the layers of her relationship with her husband behind the pain and anguish of her suffering.

The two Moroccan boys who shot her are part of a separate but interlocking story about a rural family in Morocco that just purchased its first rifle. When one of the boys shoots at the bus Blancett is on, it sets off a chain reaction that sends Morocco and America into political turmoil, not to mention their family. There are no-name actors here, and they are not particularly stunning, but their story is touching. Another storyline, possibly the least memorable of the four, involves the children of Pitt and Blanchett and their Mexican nanny who takes them across the border. Gael Garcia Bernal is terribly underused in this portion of the movie, but when he is on screen he steals the show.The best and the most disturbing storyline is that of Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi), a deaf-mute Japanese girl suffering from unsatisfied sexuality. The lengths to which she goes to fulfill her desires are pitiful and moving, and her character is the most nuanced in the movie.

This film does show a global class system where Americans are treated with more respect than those from third world countries. The goat-herders are brutalized by their own police, and the Mexicans are viewed with suspicion and contempt by the U.S. border patrol. The film wants us to sympathize with the underdogs. I've enjoyed most of Iñárritu previous work and this film isn't any different. The adaptation of each segment of this film has a respective regional style. The Moroccan track looks like an Arabic drama, the Mexican scenes have a flavor that is but too familiar to Iñárritu, while the Japanese story is told in a style and filmed in colors that remind the Japanese thrillers. Nice idea. The plots twist and curl around each other to form an amazing vine, a vine with an important message.

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More Babel reviews
review by . March 06, 2009
With direction similar to Crash, this movie focused on the plight of three different sets of kids. Two young kids are staying with their Mexican housekeeper while their parents are traveling in Morocco. Their mother gets shot which prevents the parents from returning. The housekeeper meanwhile needs to attend her son's wedding across the boarder in Mexico. With nobody else to care for the kids and not wanting to miss the wedding, she takes the kids with her and her "shady" nephew to Mexico for the …
review by . April 16, 2009
In Genesis Chapter 11 it is said that men, unified under one common language, decided to build a tower that would reach to the heavens, proving that they were greater then God. They were to call this tower Babel. God, sensing that united nothing would be impossible for them, confused their languages to prevent the tower from being finished. Years later people have found the ability to learn other languages but the language barriers still causes lots of problems. None the least of which is in "Babel," …
review by . April 28, 2009
DVD
Several stories set in places around the world are related only by a freak accident with a rifle: An American couple (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchette) are on a tour bus in the Moroccan desert when the wife is shot by a some poor children who are trying out their new rifle. Back home in San Diego, the couple's housekeeper takes their children across the border into Mexico with near-tragic results, while the rifle is traced to a businessman in Japan.     The separate-but-ultimately-related-stories …
review by . November 01, 2008
Although this movie's very long   And jumps around quite madly   You'll find it's really all about   People behaving badly     Moroccan boys play with a gun   Without a passing thought   That shooting at a passing bus   Would wreak the wrath it wrought     A couple is vacationing   But not having much fun   They're fighting over everything   Since losing their young son …
review by . March 12, 2007
With direction similar to Crash, this movie focused on the plight of three different sets of kids. Two young kids are staying with their Mexican housekeeper while their parents are traveling in Morocco. Their mother gets shot which prevents the parents from returning. The housekeeper meanwhile needs to attend her son's wedding across the boarder in Mexico. With nobody else to care for the kids and not wanting to miss the wedding, she takes the kids with her and her "shady" nephew to Mexico for the …
review by . February 24, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Story in general, acting, particularly with regards to the children      Cons: One of the storylines seems tacked on for political reasons      The Bottom Line: This is a difficult and touching story told in many languages. Not for a casual viewer. Still recommended.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.      Babel is a theme based movie rather than one driven by …
review by . February 19, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
In Genesis Chapter 11 it is said that men, unified under one common language, decided to build a tower that would reach to the heavens, proving that they were greater then God. They were to call this tower Babel. God, sensing that united nothing would be impossible for them, confused their languages to prevent the tower from being finished. Years later people have found the ability to learn other languages but the language barriers still causes lots of problems. None the least of which is in "Babel," …
review by . January 15, 2007
A towering achievement, 'Babel,' provides a great alchemy. Last year's best films often had twisty, interlocking plots that came together from fragmented lives. 'Babel' continues this trend where few films have gone since. Not only that but the beautiful cinematography (courtesy Rodrigo Prieto) and the wonderfully placed soundtrack from Gustavo Santanella (both of 'Brokeback Mountain' fame) are just a few of the nuances in this brilliant movie. Having some of the feel of 'Syriana,' 'Babel' digs …
review by . December 27, 2006
Pros: Well written story; well acted; timely.     Cons: None     The Bottom Line: Babel was in short, a stunning movie and it stayed with me long after I had left the theater, but it is a long movie so bring a cushion.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. I am a student of the unintended consequence, which means that I also fancy myself a critical thinker. A critical thinker weighs, or at least …
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Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
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Brilliantly conceived, superbly directed, and beautifully acted,Babelis inarguably one of the best films of 2006. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu and his co-writer, Guillermo Arriaga (the two also collaborated onAmores Perrosand21 Grams) weave together the disparate strands of their story into a finely hewn fabric by focusing on what appear to be several equally incongruent characters: an American (Brad Pitt) touring Morocco with his wife (Cate Blanchett) become the focus of an international incident also involving a hardscrabble Moroccan farmer (Mustapha Rachidi) struggling to keep his two young sons in line and his family together. A San Diego nanny (Adriana Barraza), her employers absent, makes the disastrous decision to take their kids with her to a wedding in Mexico. And a deaf-mute Japanese teen (the extraordinary Rinko Kikuchi) deals with a relationship with her father (Koji Yakusho) and the world in general that's been upended by the death of her mother. It is perhaps not surprising, or particularly original, that a gun is the device that ties these people together. YetBabelisn't merely about violence and its tragic consequences. It's about communication, and especially the lack of it--both intercultural, raising issues like terrorism and immigration, and intracultural, as basic as husbands talking to their wives and parents understanding their children. Iñárritu's command of his medium, sound and visual alike, ...
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