Movie Review: ‘Babel’

By Kristen Shea

Babel tells the story of a modern world divided by language, money, religion and race. In the biblical story of the tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), mankind challenges God by building a tower so tall that its top would be in heaven. God punishes mankind by introducing different languages when the whole world spoke only one. This causes humans to be spread across the world.

The director Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, (21 Grams) does an amazing job of connecting four separate cultures together. An American Winchester rifle owned by a Japanese hunter is given it to a hunting guide in Morocco, who then sells it to a goat herder, who gives it to his sons, who accidentally shoot through the window of a passing bus and wound an American tourist.

The American tourists in Morocco are played by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. They are traveling to mourn the loss of their new born baby. Their two children are at home in Los Angeles with their nanny, Amelia. Because of the accident Amelia is forced to take the children across the border into Mexico for her son’s wedding. Susan, (Blanchett) struggles for her life due to questionable medical attention.

On the other side of the world in Tokyo, Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi) struggles to find her place in the world when she feels so emotionally and physically separated. She is deaf and her mother recently committed suicide. Her relationship with her father is strained, and not until the last five minutes of the movie do you realize what their story has to do with the rest of the characters.

The time frames are often blurry but at the very end you will realize why, and paths will cross. The locations of the film are beautiful, so if you’re in the mood to see the world in one hour and 44 minutes, this is a film for you.

Babel is emotionally draining, but Inarritu does a wonderful job of making the audience think about how the world out side of the box. One simple thing connects four cultures together in an emotionally driven drama. This movie is defiantly worth seeing, but be in the mood to play close attention.

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