Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barraza, Rinko Kikuchi
Babel is one of those movies, trying to say something but never quite knowing what it wants to say. The stories in the film are all interconnected (sort of). It starts off with two little boys playing with a gun in Morocco, they decide it’ll be a good idea to try and shot a bus coming up the road. They hit the bus and this sets up the entire film, the events that this simple action causes. They shot an American and this sparks an international incident. Their children are home with the nanny who needs to get to her son’s wedding so she takes the kids with her. The other story going is the one regarding a Japanese girl, Chieko.
The film is obviously trying to make some sort of commentary but it doesn’t know what it wants. Is it commenting on illegal Mexican immigration, overactive 24 hour media, the advisability of letting 10 year olds play with rifles? It touches on all these things but never quite goes anywhere with them. Unfortunately, the film reeks of Oscar bait. So much so it doens’t seem like a real film, there isn’t a lot of heart in it. The Japanese story is the most well thought out, it could have been a film by itself. Although, it seems the most unrelated plot line with the weakest link to the other events. It was also, however the most beautiful visually. The final scene in the film is particularly excellent.
The acting is generally well done, especially from the unknown stars. Although, the parts of the story with Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt seemed a little whiny and overacted. Overall I’d say this is a well done movie with good performances, some fantastic cinematography but one that doesn’t exactly know what it wants.