Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Mohamed Akhzam, Peter Wight
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
In Babel, a tragic incident involving an American couple in Morocco sparks a chain of events for four families in different countries throughout the world. In the struggle to overcome isolation, fear, and displacement, eac... more »
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Maybe Not The Significant Document Of Our Time It Hopes To B
K. Harris | Las Vegas, NV | 12/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Babel" is the latest narratively and chronologically twisted epic from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. This is getting to be a specialty of his. He weaves different plots and characters together in unlikely ways hoping to surprise and enhance the dramatic affect of his storytelling. It brought him wide acclaim for his breakthrough "Amores Perros" a funny and thrilling ride for man and dog! The device was a bit more unnecessary in "21 Grams"--but that smaller film ended up being my choice for the best acted film of its year. But now he takes his skill and technical prowess to his biggest canvas yet.
"Babel" is set in Morocco, Mexico, Japan and the United States. We follow the interlocking stories of a Moroccan farming family, a couple of American tourists, a disaffected and deaf/mute Japanese schoolgirl, and a Mexican maid and her two American charges. One bullet brings all the stories together. As one of the tourists, Cate Blanchett, is accidentally shot--the repercussions are felt around the world.
This is an ambitious picture, and I do believe the narrative framing and structure enhance the overall experience. From a technical standpoint, there is not much more you could ask for--this is an awesome achievement. From editing, score, screenplay, cinematography and art direction--"Babel" is propelled to the short list of great studio films this year. The acting is uniformly excellent. Brad Pitt as Blanchett's husband and Rinku Kikuchi as the Japanese girl have been singled out repeatedly (and are likely Oscar contenders), but everyone here is in top form. This is heavy drama, and I can understand why that scares some people away--but the payoff is worth it. It is harrowing and unpleasant at times, but riveting and emotional throughout.
"Babel" is clearly a film made with serious intentions--and I'm not entirely sure it's as successful as it hopes to be. The philosophical implications, the biblical allegory, the effort to document the state of the world, the examination of a disaffected society, the randomness of the universal ties that bind, and the commentary at the lack of communication and understanding in the world--it's all here! There are certainly individual moments within "Babel" that will strike a chord, and it's definitely an intelligently made film, I just don't necessarily think that it is as "significant" as some make it out to be. I admire that it tries to deliver a social commentary without being "preachy"--but it moves perilously close at several times (times where 2 seconds of rational thought and explanation could have resolved something--but people were more villainous than understanding). Ultimately, though, I must embrace "Babel" as great adult filmmaking and powerful drama. About 4 1/2 stars from me--I'm rounding up for the sheer scope and ambition present. KGHarris, 12/06."
MICHAEL ACUNA | Southern California United States | 11/14/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Chapter 11 of Genesis tells a story of mankind's attempt to reach heaven by building a tower, not as a way to glorify God but as a way for mankind to glorify themselves by putting them on God's level. God strikes the plan down by confusing/creating different languages so that the builders cannot understand each other thereby suspending communication. Director Alejandro González Iñárritu, along with his screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga's take on this material is "Babel" their third and most ambitiously produced film with locales in Morocco, Japan, San Diego and Mexico and like the Bible story, Iñárritu is once again dealing with communication or lack thereof: how we talk and either no one listens or more to the point...doesn't understand. Simple themes told exceedingly well here.
In the best sequence, shot in Japan a deaf mute girl, Chieko (Rinko Cucuchi), desperate for attention and contact other than she can get from her pals, tells (actually signs) to her father (a sad sack Koji Yakusho from "Shall We Dance?"): "You Never Listen to Me!" Ironic on at least a couple of levels. Chieko is reeling from the normal drama of being a teen as well as the not so normal drama of having found her Mother dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She is also dealing with a father who is also devastated and unable to comfort himself much less his daughter. They live in a glacial glass high-rise box in Tokyo: a symbol of the icy coldness of the lives that they live within.
The two other parts of the film deal with the stars (a very good Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) in Morocco on vacation (!?) and a supposed terrorist attack and the third, a very real and scary sequence involving the Pitt/Blanchett children and their caretaker, Amelia (a terrific Adriana Barraza) and their harrowing journey into Baja California.
Every one of Iñárritu's films ("Amores Perros," "21 Grams" and "Babel") contain at least one gut-wrenching, emotional and transcendentally beautiful scene: the dog fight in "Amores Perros," the Naomi Watts scene with Sean Penn in which she explains how it is to lose a family in a random accident in "21 Grams" and here in Babel: Chieko at a Shinto dance club, the soundtrack stopping and starting to approximate Chieko's experience, Chieko: wide-eyed, wide-eyed, mouth agape...experiencing a world in which feeling and touching is paramount and hearing isn't.
Though Iñárritu and Arriaga stretch the "if a butterfly flutters its wings in Hawaii, etc." metaphor to the breaking point, there is no doubt that
"Babel" has got the goods where it counts: deep in the recesses of its soul and heart.
A film about anguish
Thomas Dunham | Catonsville, Maryland United States | 02/23/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"What a depressing film. This film is basically about a highly unlikey series of unfortunate events occuring to a small group of people, with each event more depressing and unbelievable than the last. It's an emotional snuff film, offering only a voyeuristic trip into human misery. If you like to watch people suffer at the mercy of situations beyond their control, then then film is for you!
About midway through this film it began to strike me almost as a parady of itself; the never-ending chain of gut-wrenching, anguishing events were truly over-the-top. The same movie could have been made simply by filming little children as their pet-kittens are pryed from their hands, and then thrown out the window into oncoming traffic. Do we really need a film to tell us how random and cruel life can be, or have people forgotten?
I found the Asian-girl (whatever her name was ) sub-plot to be by far the most interesting part of the overall story, but, sadly, also the least relevent; why involve the family of the man who brought the rifle to Morraco in this story? Why not be totally avent-garde, and show the suffering of the man who made the bullets at the ammo factory?
If you want to spend the evening feeling really, really bad, then watch this film. Otherwise steer clear..."
Babel is a good movie but it is missing something.
Porfie Medina | Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA | 02/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Babel is a movie based on a series of misunderstandings, and links the unfortunate circumstances of a Moroccan, an American, a Mexican and a Japanese family all through a rifle. A Moroccan family gets a rifle to protect their goats. The father lets his 2 sons use it while he runs errands. They want to see if the rifle can really shoot as far as they were told. They practice by shooting at the tiny cars below the hill that they are on. The youngest brother ends up hitting an American woman, on a bus tour with her husband. By the time the press gets a hold of the story they label the incident as a "terrorist attack". The same couple's children are being taken care of by their caretaker. The caretaker decides to take the kids to Mexico to attend her son's wedding. On their way back in to the U.S they face a few problems when it is discovered the women has been living in the U.S. as an illegal alien. A Japanese father is having trouble communicating with his deaf teenage daughter. The girl has been craving human affection ever since the death of her mother. All the stories are linked by the rifle. Brad Pitt and Rinko Kikuchi who plays the Japanese girl give great performances. All this probably sounds confusing but in the end it will all make sense. Brad Pitt and Rinko Kikuchi who plays the Japanese girl give great performances. BRAD PITT gives his best performance only after FIGHT CLUB. The one thing I did not like about this movie was the ending, which left me wanting to know more. The blu-ray disc of BABEL has amazing picture and sound but no bonus material what's so ever. Babel is a entertaining, yet sad movie that is worth taking a look at. Babel is up against The Departed for this years Best Picture Awards at the Oscars. I enjoyed this film but to me The Departed was a better movie and will most likely take home Best Picture Oscar.