2007-07-08 17:21
What it’s about:

Fooling round with a rifle, two young sons of a Moroccan goatherd start a chain of events that is felt across the globe by four different families. Richard (Brad Pitt) and his wife Susan (Cate Blanchett) are holidaying in Morocco, trying to patch up their shattered marriage, when tragedy strikes. Their children are left in the care of their housekeeper Amelia (Adrianna Barraza), who is set to return to Mexico for her son’s wedding. The effects are even felt by the original owner of the rifle, in Japan, and his deaf teenage daughter, Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi), who is struggling to find human connection with her disability.

What we thought:

Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is quickly becoming something of an auteur, and firm favourite with critics and discerning audiences. Told in the same style of interweaving narratives as his previous films (21 Grams, and Amores Perros), Babel is a vivid and refreshing cinematic experience.

The movie consists of four stories, all connected by a single incident, each of which deals with alienation, being lost, and makes for a very. If each story were fleshed out, they could be standalone feature films, and the skilful hopping between the different strands is impressively sure handed. Despite all this zigzagging, the film never loses pace, and keeps up the interest in all the characters.

Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are the biggest stars in the film (Pitt allegedly turned down a role in The Departed in favour of Babel), but they pull off superbly understated performances, playing ordinary people stuck in an extraordinary situation. Brad Pitt really shines as Richard, a man desperately trying to keep his wounded wife alive, while stuck in a desert town where only one other person can speak English. He shows great range - going from raging to hopeless in a split second. He is also made to look as haggard and old as possible - a brave move for someone who was once a Hollywood pretty boy.

The theme of being lost runs throughout the film, and there are a number of beautiful parallels between the situations. Richard screaming for help to Moroccan villagers, while at the same time Chieko is isolated in her silence amid the hectic city thriving around her. Amelia wanders alone in the desert near the Mexican border, while the goatherd and his sons flee from the police across the unforgiving mountains.

The most heart wrenching story is that of Chieko, brilliantly illustrated though passages of dead silence interspersed with passages that have sound. A silent scene in which she stands amongst dancers in a nightclub, watching her friend kiss the boy she likes is one of the most poignant images Babel conjures, and it will stay with you for a long while.

Babel is about real people, in real situations, and doesn’t contain any glamour or romance, but the slick editing and weaving together of its various strands is so skilled that it holds your attention from the opening scene right to the very end. As in real life, there is no neat ending, and no conclusion to speak of, yet it offers so much more than most dramas. Fantastically directed, wonderfully acted, both entertaining and moving in equal measures - Babel is highly recommend viewing. Don’t miss it.

- Ivan Sadler
A single gunshot changes lives across the globe in Babel, an Oscar nominated drama from the maker of 21 Grams. This is world cinema at its vivid best.

Felix Otieno 2007/02/27 6:05 PM
Babel The movie was quite awesome.
Mo 2007/03/01 1:08 PM
Awed Absolutely real.. u feel like a part of the movie. Brilliant!!!
Pippa 2007/03/07 1:07 PM
Babel I thought although powerful the movie was slow- and the use of shock tactics kept the audience intrigued where otherwise one would've lost pace. Its worth watching but not the best movie i've ever seen
CK 2007/03/12 5:41 AM
BABEL Boreing to the core.I walked out of the movie nearing the end.The jumping around of variious scenes made it almost impossible to follow or stay with the pevious .It was really anoying to watch something that might have been a good story and then be whisked to a completely different one somewhere in Hong Kong that bares absolutely no resemblance of what were hopefully going to be holding your attention just moments ago.I really expected more of a good film with Brad as the star.This was all a waste of money for me really.
Carl Nielsen 2007/03/17 12:07 PM
Babel Intriguing componentry, sublime in parts - (great cast), frustratingly slow while you are pondering some of the links yet ultimately satisfying in its unexpected, multiple outcomes.
b 2007/03/30 12:45 AM
b overated
johan 2007/12/27 6:59 PM
BABEL two of my favourite actors, brad pitt and cate blanchett again prove themselves worthy of their fan clubs ... brilliant storyline ... the movie IS difficult to watch, but all in all well worth it ... i found the japanese sequences particularly poignant ... beautiful production ...
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