By Al Kratina
Nov 17, 2006 - 15:06
Starring: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Mohamed Akhzam, Adriana Barraza
Directed by: Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu
Written by: Guillermo Arriaga (screenplay and idea), Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu (idea)
Produced by: Steve Golin, Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, Jon Kilik,
Release Date: November 10, 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, some graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use
Running Time: 142 minutes
Every film has a message, a meaning implicit or explicit embedded in its very fabric. Sometimes, that message is relevant and profound, like the messages of hope and redemption found in the films of Martin Scorsese. And sometimes, they remind you not to step on butterflies while traveling through time hunting dinosaurs. In the case of Babel, the message is about the breakdown of communication, which means that if you don't understand it, you're getting the point. I think.
Babel is the latest film from Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu, a filmmaker who specializes in making lengthy dramas massive in scope feel like minute character studies. The film intertwines four stories, loosely connected by a rifle, and strongly related by their themes of miscommunication. Essentially, the structure is like Pulp Fiction without quite so much cocaine ramping up the dialogue. Or, more accurately, it's exactly like Amores Perros and 28 Grams and every other movie Inarritu has made or will ever make. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett play an American couple traveling in Morocco, when Blanchett is shot in what initially appears to be a terrorist attack. As Pitt struggles to find help for his wife, mired in bureaucracy and language barriers, the shooters, in actuality two young kids playing around with their father's rifle, struggle to hide their guilt. In America, the couple's Mexican nanny is forced to bring their two children to her son's wedding in Mexico, and in Japan, the original owner of gun struggles to communicate with his deaf daughter.
Rating: 6 on 10