Babel is a story that reflects how one (seemingly random & improbable, out of the blue) incident can change our lives in a way we never imagined. It is a collection of four short stories, set in four countries: Morocco, USA, Mexico & Japan, in 5 languages: Arabic, English, Mexican, Japanese & Sign Language.
A sheep herder in Morocco buys a Rifle & gives it to his two sons for shooting wolves that have been eating their sheep. The boys instead try (rather foolishly) aiming at a passing car n a bus to test the effectiveness of the rifle. A bullet from their Rifle hits n American tourist (Cate Blanchett) who is on a holiday to Morocco with her husband (Brad Pitt). They have come on this holiday to sort out their marital problems, leaving their two children behind in the US with their Mexican Nanny & Housekeeper who has to attend her son’s wedding in Mexico during the same time. As the couple is stranded in a small village town trying to get a Helicopter to transfer the fatally wounded Lady to the Hospital, the Nanny finding no other alternative goes to her son’s wedding taking the children along with her with disastrous consequences. The fate of the Moroccan family, the American family & the Nanny are altered with this random shooting of the bullet. The movie alternates among these three & also moves to the life of a deaf & dumb Japanese Teenager who is coping with the trauma of her mother’s recent suicide & her own handicap. She is also desperate to lose her virginity. Her life is also affected by the shoot-out though in a very round about way. You must watch the movie to find out how.
The movie keeps one glued to the seat in a tense suspense of what is the ultimate fate of all involved. The movie is like a piece of puzzle, the pieces of which get connected only in the end. Some stories reach their logical conclusion whereas some are left vague & open to subjective interpretation.
The movie is named Babel after the story of the Tower of Babel in the Biblical Book of Genesis. In the story, the people of the world are all united and speak a common language. They begin to build a tower to reach the heavens and become godlike themselves. God, seeing this, decides to confuse the language of the people and destroy the tower. When the people could no longer understand each other they gave up work on the tower and spread out to different parts of the world. It also refers to the connections -or lack thereof- that come through the use of language. In each storyline the characters struggle with surviving and self-identification based on misunderstanding through a language barrier. This film ultimately looks at the fact that we are all intimately connected on a life-and-death level, yet the trivialities of langauge and misunderstandings break us apart.
Some Facts: (Gleaned from Wikipaedia)
Babel is a 2006 international drama film directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and written by Guillermo Arriaga, starring an ensemble cast. The multi-narrative drama completes Iñárritu’s Death Trilogy, following Amores perros and 21 Grams.
The film portrays multiple stories taking place in Morocco, Japan, Mexico, and the United States. It was an international co-production among companies based in France, Mexico and the US. The film was first screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, and was later shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Zagreb Film Festival. It opened in selected cities in the United States on October 27, 2006, and went into wide release on November 10, 2006. On January 15, 2007, it won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture — Drama. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and two nominations for Best Supporting Actress and won for Best Original Score.
Other Movie Reviews on my blog:
- The lessons of the Tower of Babel (respiratorytherapycave.blogspot.com)
- Alejandro González Iñárritu interview for Buitiful (telegraph.co.uk)
- Mexican director honored by ‘Biutiful’ Oscar nod (foxnews.com)
- Director Alejandro Inarritu Barely Beat the Recession With New Film (walletpop.com)
- Nine Films Make Oscar Foreign Film Shortlist (slashfilm.com)
- ‘Biutiful’: Javier Bardem is striking as a dying father in the slums of Barcelona (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Javier Bardem in Biutiful reviewed: Get ready to be really depressed. (slate.com)
- Director Alejandro González Iñárritu Interview BIUTIFUL (collider.com)