Babel (2006)

I’m on a roll. In the last week I’ve seen five great films and Babel (2006) is no exception. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu (21 Grams) uses the biblical story of Babel (loosely) as the main theme in his latest film—miscommunication through language. Aside from miscommunication and noise, it’s difficult to explain what Babel is about.

After watching this film, my understanding of it was cloudy. It’s a complex film with many layers. I felt that the ideas and themes were more implicit than explicit. It’s not as black and white a film as say, Crash (2004).

It’s the type of film you want to discuss after viewing. You want to dissect it. Pull it apart. Try to understand it more. It sticks with you long after you’ve left the theatre and that is one of the things that makes a great film, for me.

Babel follows 4 broken families in Morroco, Tokyo, San Diego and Mexico, all affected by a single gun shot. Foreign languages, noise, confusion, fear, and healing are some of the other common threads that connect each family.

Inarritu uses multiple story lines and some clever shifts in time to reveal the narrative but its up to the audience to connect the dots and fill in all of the blanks. Some people will hate this film because they have to think but I think it’s worth the effort.

On another note, if you enjoyed the film Caché (2005) then you’ll be delighted to know that there is an interesting scene with a chicken. I’ll leave it at that.

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were excellent in this film but what was with the fake wrinkles on Brad? Was that really necessary? I found it distracting at times and slightly amusing at others. I guess the producers thought he didn’t look old enough or maybe they thought he was too young to have a wife like Cate Blanchett. ****

Films are rated from 1 to 4 stars.

Posted in Movie Reviews at 12:28 AM