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Babel January 15, 2007

Posted by Priyanka Varma in drama, LAN, Reviews.
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The Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga has come up with their latest movie Babel after Amores Perros and 21 Grams. Babel has the same intertwining story structure as the previous two, but this time it spans the globe to capture the lives of the families in Morocco, America, Mexico and Tokyo. BabelIt is a film with the settings in different parts of the world, a multicultural cast and the characters speaking Japanese,French,English,Spanish,Berber Arabic and even the Sign Language by a deaf-mute girl.

Babel, which has been nominated for the Golden Globe Award, ties together four parallel stories that are eventually revealed to be linked to one another.

In one story we watch Brad Pitt’s Richard and Cate Blanchett’s Susan, an American couple on a trip to Morocco where Susan gets shot and Richard struggles to save her life stranded in a remote village.US authorities sees this as an act of terrorism. In another, there is a Moroccan kid who shot her carelessly with the hunting rifle given by his father to help keep the jackals away from his herd of goats. In America, we watch the tourist couple’s kids with their immigrant maid, Amelia (Adriana Barraza) getting into danger while returning from her son’s wedding in Mexico. In Japan, the movie shows a 16-year old Japanese deaf and mute Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi), living with her father(Koji Yakusho), coping with the suicide of her mother and loneliness in her life. Broken and desperate for a meaningful relationship she thinks that exploiting her sexuality would get people’s attention towards her. This story also connects to the shot as the Japanese father is connected to the gun that shot Susan.

The filmmakers have succeded in weaving these stories together while exploring the depth of the character and relationships – whether it be of American couple, the Japanese deaf-mute girl with her father or the nanny and the couple’s kids.

If you are mainly interested in Pitt or Blanchett – they only appear intermittently as the film has many other characters and stories. The performance is excellent, from the non-actors to Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Gael Garcia Bernal. But the performance of the Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi , playing the deaf-mute girl, was amazing and far surpassed Pitt and Blanchett.

A great movie overall but the only complaint is the unnecessary story line that takes place in Japan which seems to be connected with other stories just for the sake of doing. It is a little detracting from the central theme.

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