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Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.
|Studio :||Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Media Rights Capital,|
|Crew :||Art Direction, Production Design,|
|Cast :||Cate Blanchett Gael García Bernal Emilio Echevarría Adriana Barraza Brad Pitt|
Pretty good movie overall. First half was nothing special but it got better as it went along.
The movie runs out of plot and jokes well before the end of a two-hour running time, long for a light comedy.
It’s fine. It's literally the definition of a fine movie. You’ve seen it before, you know every beat and outcome before the characters even do. Only question is how much escapism you’re looking for.
So very dull, 2 hours of my life I'm not getting back. Just spent most of it thinking that it would get going any minute. Then it ended, WOW. How is this film rated at 7.5?
The idea and the title are good - what one could do with such a theme! Unfortunately the execution of the idea is mediocre and superficial. Mr Inaritu bypasses a real opportunity to say something true and deep here. Instead, he stays on stereotypes for the sake of the striking and shocking impression, that is it is shallow. Am I the only one that thinks this film is racist, or better plays with racism as a means of impression? The same that does with sexism etc. A lost opportunity not just to impress but to shake people out of their seats.
'Babel' is not one of Alejandro González Iñárritu's best films and falls short of being a masterpiece. It does however show how immensely talented he is as a director who to me has not made a bad film, 'Babel' while divisive is still a very good film that's fascinating and often beautiful. Even when Iñárritu is at his weakest or not at his best he is much better than most directors at their worst.Not without its faults. 'Babel' is a little overlong and the ending is abrupt. A couple of parts are on the contrived side. 'Babel' is a film where the pros far outweigh the cons, though it is easy why some people would not be, and have not been, totally enamoured by it.It's exquisitely filmed with beautiful and atmospheric settings. Iñárritu's direction is as superbly accomplished as ever. The music is haunting and fits very well, the sound has great authenticity.Scripting is thought-provoking, exploring its themes well and deftly moving between its four stories and characters. 'Babel' is coherently structured, remarkable for more than one story plot going on which don't give an over-stuffed feel thankfully.The acting is one of the best assets. Brad Pitt is a commanding lead, and while Cate Blanchett could have more to do she is a strong presence. Gael García Bernal is more than up to their level. The best performances come from a heartfelt Rinko Kikuchi and a formidable Adriana Barraza.In summary, fascinating and often beautiful. 8/10 Bethany Cox
... said Alejandro Inarritu while contemplating the wall between America and Mexico and the human flows circulating from one side to other, legally or not yet all the borders in the world wouldn't amount to a hill of beans if people decided to sit and talk, to take time to understand each other. To quote another director, it was Jean Renoir who thought-provokingly said during a friendly chat with actor Michel Simon that laziness was underrated, because civilized people, rather than acting, preferred talking and make the world a better place, with words as a first step.And this is how "Babel", as magnificent a title as it is, is misleading; the Biblical episode symbolized the human hubris and its divine punishment: dividing people by languages. However, those who populate the film are ready to overcome these barriers, out of fraternal impulses, curiosity and sometimes, necessity. This hymn for universality is even more powerful because it doesn't ignore the specificity of the ground it walks on, whether Moroccan mountains, the urbane belly of a Japanese metropolis or a small Mexican town across the desert, Inarritu explores each identity, each form of expression, not to say that we're all the same, but so we gather the certitude of our own differences before concluding that we're still the same after all.There comes a point in "Babel" where we stop seeing the children of a goat shepherd, or the deaf daughter of a Japanese businessman (Rinko Kikuchi) or two big stars playing American tourists (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) or a Mexican nanny (Adriana Barraza) taking her employers' children to her son's wedding. Indeed, we stop labeling them from their origins, we only see two brothers victim of childish temptations, the tragedy of three fathers, deafness as a convenient alibi while there's more to make communication difficult. We see a woman who worked hard all her life and decided to please herself just for once and compromising everything she built, and we see a couple trying to find to overcome a marital crisis before Karma intervenes through an accidental bullet.Yes, there's a moment where we embrace the poetry of Inarritu, the realization that the air we breathe is the same, the way we break down after seeing a loved one bleeding to death, the way our pain can be either silent or tearful, the way we gaze at the sky with the same amazement, the way we're all humans there's a moment where the Mexican woman, after wandering for hours in the middle of the desert, sees a car and starts running, hysterically shouting, she doesn't scream in Mexican, she's just letting her heart vent the last gasps of desperate energy. The film is full of countless moments where to identify the existence of a universal language: we all nod and shake our head the same, and sometimes, a foreigner is closer than a compatriot. Actually, many tragedies in the film occur because of secrets, silences and misunderstandings within the same culture.Another marvel of Hyperlink Cinema, "Babel" doesn't rely on a complex non-linear storytelling where you only get everything at the end, the stories are simple and could have made powerful dramas in their own right, but they all converge toward the same recognition of universality. It's a powerful journey into our own humanity, a movie one should watch before stating that there are some countries deserving to be invaded. The day, there'll be "Babel" about North Korea or Iran, maybe people will start to act reasonably. Because like for human relationships, sometimes, more than love, more than respect, understanding is the key element, understanding someone is like learning empathy. You can't bomb a country if you're empathetic, you can't make a terrorist attack either. I called the film universal, it's more than that: it's humanist and it's essential.And after watching it, I wanted to know more about the project, convinced that the finished result was as fascinating as the journey that made it. And yes, the making-of provided many additional elements to understand the complexity of human language, that could have made a great sequel to the film. There were three moments that stood out and they were set in my country, I loved that Inarritu was surprised to learn that one of the Moroccan extra (playing the old lady) didn't understand one word in Arabic, and they needed a Berber interpret, putting the Palestinian interpret in a tricky situation. Later, during a shootout, I saw the female interpret being upset and I knew it was reminding her of some memories. I didn't need explanation, her eyes said it all. Finally, during a rain, Moroccan crew men were singing under an umbrella and one of the assistants asked them if it was a song to stop the rain, they nodded and kept laughing. It was just a pop song from the 70's, well sometimes; we're entitled to our little private jokes.Because languages aren't only here to separate us, they reinforce us within a group and allow us to be best prepared to talk to the others, there's no "other" without a strong identity, and the efforts to overcome the languages also allow you to better understand the people, it's all about universal understanding but not at the expense of human diversity. Inarritu must have had troubles with Moroccan language but when he embraced the two kids at the end of the shooting, he didn't need any word to understand their grief, and didn't find any to console them. Understanding, emotion and pain . that image, both sad and beautiful, spoke a thousand words.Inarritu made a timeless and universal movie, establishing Cinema as an art-form that transcended the barriers of languages and culture. Maybe more than ever, we need movies like "Babel". If the Academy wasn't busy giving a sympathy Oscar for Scorsese, they would have acknowledged the cinematic importance of "Babel" and its incomparable beauty.