Babel

I had to see this because I always see the Best Picture nominees before the Oscar® ceremony. Plus I really liked the director’s (Alejandro González Iñárritu) other two films, Amores Perros and 21 Grams. But this one got mixed reviews, so I put off seeing it until now.

The story, like in the other two films, is of several interconnected stories told out of sequence. Of the three, 21 Grams was the most scrambled, and this one was comparatively easy to follow. In this case the central event is the shooting of an American tourist (played by Cate Blanchett) in Morocco. The other stories are set in North America and Japan.

It’s definitely a difficult film to watch, and I found myself wondering what it all meant and if the difficulty was worth it. I’m still not entirely sure. Another review I read points out that one theme in common for the director’s three films is that chance plays a big part in how our lives turn out. The film’s name also points at the role of language barriers—English, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese and other languages are heard, and sign language also plays a part in one of the stories.

I’m still deciding what I think, but for now I’ll give it 3 stars out of 4.

Seen 2/5/2007.

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2 Responses to “Babel”

  1. Archana Says:

    I just saw it today and I would have to give it a 2 out of 4. I felt like Crash was of a similar genre, but had more engaging plot/narrative/dialogue than Babel. I also felt like I came away with a clear message from Crash, but not from Babel. One theme that I saw was the isolation experienced by people in many different circumstances, yet the inter-connectedness too.

  2. David Schleicher Says:

    I, too, have mixed feelings about Babel. Amores Perros and 21 Grams were great films and far superior. Likewise, Crash was more compelling and cohesive. Babel was literaly and figuratively all over the map. If it wins Best Picture I will lose what very little faith I have left in the Academy.

    Check out my full review on my blog.

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