Saturday, December 02, 2006


Sorry about the hiatus everyone! My wife and I were moving to New Jersey so it's been a little crazy. Ironically, as I was making preparations to move, I found it difficult to communicate to the movers to the power guy, the cable guy, the water guy, all of them. We were supposed to have the movers come in the morning but there was a mix up and we ended up getting these Russian movers at the last minute. Luckily they did the job in an hour, we couldn't understand them most of the time and they of course did not understand us, especially, when we tried to tell them where to put stuff in the truck. After that mess we finally get to New Jersey and, wouldn't you know it, the power is off. I find out that we had a mis-communication with somebody either with the real estate people or the lawyers, no one seemed to know that we get the heat from one place and the electricity from another. Needless to say my wife and I are now staying over at my in-laws place very near to our new powerless house until Monday. What does all of this have to do with Babel. COMMUNICATION. This film was all about communication, or the lack thereof. There are four revolving stories that interconnect at different places within the film There is a lot of plot here so if you are not paying attention you can get lost quickly. It is a phenomenal film directed effortlessly by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (21 Grams and Amores Perros). Starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael Garcia Bernal.

The film begins with two children in Morocco as they herd sheep they decide to take a break and try a little target practice with their new rifle. They foolishly decide to take a pot shot at an unsuspecting tour bus injuring an American woman, Susan, (Cate Blanchet) on vacation with her husband, Richard (Brad Pitt). Thus sparking an international incident. Meanwhile back at home Richard and Susan's kids, who are being cared for by the family's nanny, decide to take a little trip into Mexico to attend a wedding, this was probably not such a good idea. Let me just say the kids are white and the nanny is an illegal Hispanic woman so you can guess that problems ensue. The fourth story revolves around a deaf Japanese girl trying to communicate with everyone especially her father regarding the tragic suicide of her mother.

The stories weave in and out similar to films you may have seen in the past like Crash or Traffic. The difference is that no one in the story is shown in a really bad light. Again the film is about the deconstruction of communication and how the simplest thing can be misconstrued and mis-understood unless the people involved actually try to say what they mean truthfully. It's not just about the language barrier between cultures and races it is also about a husband speaking to a wife or a father to his daughter and being able to understand each other on a local level not just an international one. It is one of the best dramas of the year and in my opinion is just as good or better than Crash, which won Best Picture last year. It is a very layered film and there is a great deal of subtitles, but it is an honest film with a social message that reverberates beautifully. So I ask everyone to see this gem before the commercial holiday fare swallow it up whole.

Grade: 5 Buckets

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