If You Want to be Understood...Listen
Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.
A film about language and communication would normally grab my interest immediately. For the better part of this film the sheer quality and topics of most of the separate stories managed to do just that. There is enough to enjoy here, with strong performances and interesting subjects.
It is, however, also infuriatingly moronic in its contrived and forced narrative link. It makes a capital mistake in that it feels the incessant need to 'mean something'. It does so by force feeding us a link that is supposed to give the separate stories a common meaning/purpose. What it fails to recognise is that the stories by themselves manage to bring across the commonality just fine, keeping the uniqueness of their narrative and clearly distinct feel.
It is extremely annoying that in its attempt to please its audience and naive need to tie up loose ends it fails to see the quality that is already there.
Finally completed it on the fourth attempt to do so. Don't know why though. I just had to knock it off my list I guess.
I hate these films. Always have, always will. Stupid decisions, melodrama, oh-so-sad people.
Brad Pitt is always phenomenal though. Love that guy.
Babel, why are you so hard to rate? There are moments of brilliance in which strong acting and scriptwriting kept me on the edge of my seat. But it's inter-cut with heavy-handed dramatic nonsense and put together like a bad patchwork scarecrow.
With just the Moroccan and Mexican storylines, this could have been called "White Family Has a Bad Day." And that might actually have been a pretty good movie (with some serious massaging of the Mexican script and better editing to merge the two stories.)
Beyond the movie's theme of language, The Japanese story had next to nothing to do with the other two, and the tenuous bond felt silly and forced. Despite that, it was likely the strongest…
Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel centres on a complex, but beautifully woven narrative, which transcends international, sociological and cultural boundaries to offer a meditation of shared humanity. The central thematic narrative travels through Morocco, Mexico, Japan and the United States to show how a single tragic moment can ricochet around the globe and affect many, very different lives.
What sets Babel apart from its counterparts is the remarkable way in which Iñárritu captures the different rhythms of life in his diverse film. Rather than using a clear-cut stylistic device to distinguish the narratives, the filmmaker establishes a distinct flow and feel for each country early on.
Every actor within the ensemble cast are very impressive and each provides uniformly excellent performances.…
Babel is the sought of film where the aesthetic overwhelms the narrative. yes, it is flawed, but when its last 5 minutes play out, i'm left drooling into a cup. its the rare occasion where the visceral experience overshadows the narrative contrivances.
to quote A.O. Scott:
"Babel possesses unusual aesthetic force, even if it does not seem to be tethered to any coherent idea or narrative logic."
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This movie reminded me of Paul Haggis's Crash but with a much better cast (minus Pitt) and director. Sanctimonious and trite, for a film trying so hard to mean something it was really quite meaningless.
Good movie and good concept, but sometimes a bit to dramatic about too small things. Particularly the two lovers. The concept is alike with Cloud Atlas. They both are about how much impact 1 small thing could have. But compared to Cloud Atlas, this movie is shallower. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the drama isn't powerful enough to comprehend for it. E.g. The scene where the babysitter gets deported to Mexico could have been made much more emotional and there could have been a more dramatic focus on how the person giving the order has a whole different perspective.
Ugh. Just...ugh. Pretentious Oscar Bait of the worst kind.
Brad Pitt seems to show up in these a lot.
interesting but long-winded
So the point of this movie is...communication is hard?? Thanks, I got it and I didn't need to waste 2 hours and 22 minutes of my life watching a movie that stupid people think is "deep" just because there are subtitles.
Alejandro Inarritu's masterpiece is a good reminder that America is not the only place on the planet. This broad story encompasses the stories of multiple families across the planet in an expert way. American's seem to be culturally...uninformed. This is a risk taken by the director to try and communicate on that level, and it worked very well. In my opinion, this is the most important film of the last decade. Brad Pitt's most powerful role by far (Snatch was his most entertaining). For me, nearly as emotionally moving as Magnolia. Cried during this one as well.