Saturday, March 01, 2008

Review: Babel

I finally got around to watching Babel last night. This is a great story about connections across cultures and countries--how one incident can involve an entire world. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu does an excellent job assembling Guillermo Arriaga's screenplay.

Babel happens in flashes--the story is cut up into pieces for the audience to place together. It's not all in chronological order. Each section is in order, but they are not altogether in order. It may cause some confusion, mostly toward the end, as to when the events occur. Overall, the story takes place in a matter of a few days (although there is no definite time frame). The catalyst for Babel involves people in Morocco, the U.S., Mexico, and Japan. Each character either plays a part in the incident or has a relation, in some minor way, to it. The mixture of languages really has little significance to the story as it only depicts the scenes and cultures.

The acting is quite good--which shows just how good the writing for the film was. Brad Pitt does an excellent job playing the part of an American tourist in Morocco (I was surprised by how old they made him appear on screen). The two young Moroccan brothers are also wonderful characters--they show the complexities of their family and situation.



Stuart said...

Actually, I think the different languages have great significance to the meaning of this film. The language/communication barriers throughout Babel (the nanny's inability to communicate the border guards, Brad Pitt trying to find help for his wife, the deaf girl's struggle to connect with the world around her, etc.) are meant to underscore the gaps that exist between cultures and people. Despite these barriers, our basic humanity connects us all. Language/communication is very important and is the reason the film is called Babel to begin with. My two cents.

Matthew said...

Good point, Stuart. Wasn't thinking about that when I wrote the review. Guess I was focusing more on the translated subtitles to explain what was going on.

JediRach said...

I have been wanting to watch this for a while. Maybe it's time to move it up on the Netflix queue.

Matthew said...

I forgot to mention the joys of buying DVDs in China... the "review" on the back of the package read, "Well-meaning twaddle."

JA Huber said...

I really enjoyed this filmed and like the cultural connections. We may speak different languages but we're all connected with a common bond.