Thursday, September 7, 2017

1038. Babel

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

So this is one of those films that made the critics go crazy, garnered all kinds of awards and nominations, but then is all but forgotten about within the next year.  At least, I haven't heard anyone speak of it, but that might just be me (I try to avoid talking to people in general).

In a desert in Morocco, Abdullah, a goat herder, receives a gun and ammo from his neighbor.  He teaches his two young sons, Yussef and Ahmed, how to shoot jackals with it.  The two boys are doubtful that the gun has a wide range and take shots at a tour bus passing by.  They hit one of the passengers, Susan, in her shoulder and her husband Richard spends the film desperately trying to get help for her.  Amelia, Susan and Roger's nanny, learns of Susan's injury and is ordered to take care of their kids longer than she had planned.  She decides to take the kids to Mexico with her for her son's wedding, which is an extremely ill-advised decision but hey, her boss was being a dick.   Oh yes, and we also follow the story of Chieko, a deaf mute Japanese girl who is struggling to express her sexuality and come to terms with her mother's suicide.  Those are two problems, by the way.

I am not the biggest fan of ensemble films.  Speaking of which, I couldn't for the life of me remember what the movie Happiness was called and had to resort to typing "child molester movie Jon Lovitz" into Google.  I hope that didn't raise any alarms.

Back to my point.  Usually with ensemble movies there are one or two storylines that are just not as interesting as the other plots, but unfortunately they serve as necessary bridges to the other stories.  For this film, I was particularly bored with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett's story, which essentially didn't change throughout the whole movie.  You can tell they just wanted to work with the director, but sadly, they didn't have too much to work with.  On the other hand, I loved Chieko's story, even though I am certain I didn't understand the ending.

In general, it was cool to experience a movie this ambitious.  But I still think Inarritu is a tool.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Brad Pitt gave up a lead role in The Departed to be in this film.  Oh honey.

The color red is emphasized in every story.   What an original concept!


  1. You know, I rather think you've proved a point. I've seen this, and sort of remember liking it .. I clearly remember the opening, but started to doubt when I read the rest of your summary ...

    1. Yeah, I doubt this one left a lasting impression.