Babel: Brad Pitt Stars in Global Thriller by Mexican Director Inarritu

Cannes Film Festival 2006 (World Premiere–Linking personal identities and global politics in a thematically intriguing and emotionally compelling way, “Babel,” Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritus’ third feature, is his most commercial film to date.
Grade: B

Working on a larger canvas and with a bigger budget (around $25 million), the film, co-scripted by regular collaborator Guillermo Arriaga, completes Innaritu’s trilogy that began six years ago with the highly acclaimed Mexican “Amores Perros” and continued with the well-received American-made “21 Grams” in 2003.

Receiving its world premiere as a competition entry at the 2006 Festival de Cannes, “Babel” was greeted with huge applause and the kind of deeply emotional response seldom witnessed in Cannes. The yarn’s last scene, an emotionally moving reunion between two disparate family members, has reduced many viewers to tears.

With the right handling and savvy marketing, Paramount Vantage/Paramount Classics has a major winner that should reap awards at year’s end, including Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actors (Brad Pitt and Mexican Adriana Barraza), and technical categories for a supremely mounted movie, lensed by Rodrigo Prieto, designed by Brigitte Broch, and scored by Oscar-winner Gustavo Santaolalla (“Brokeback Mountain”).

Harsh critics may charge with some degree of validity that the storytelling is contrived and a bit manipulative, especially in the way that the Japanese story is linked to the other, more logically integrated segments. Yet, there’s so much to praise about “Babel” that the film’s weaknesses are easily neutralized, if not entirely overcome, by its achievements.

“Babel” may not be Innaritu’s best film–I am still partial to “Amores Perros” (“Life’s a Bitch”), perhaps because it represented a feature debut that came out of nowhere, so to speak. Nonetheless, narratively, emotionally, and technically, “Babel” is more gripping, touching, and accomplished than “21 Grams,” which, despite excellent acting from Sean Penn, Naomi Watts, and Benicio Del Torro, was overwrought and suffered from its time-jumping puzzle-like structure.

A single rifle shot, fired on a whim by two boys in the Moroccan deserts, leads to an international political scandal and personal tragedy of the highest order, involving an American couple (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) traveling in Morocco, a sensitive Mexican nanny (Adriana Barraza) who takes care of their kids and her irresponsible nephew (Gael Garcia Bernal), and a Japanese family of a single father and rebellious daughter in the far and remote Tokyo.

Using the same strategy of interlocking parallel tales and the same melodramatic mode (here more excessively) of his previous pictures, “Babel” boasts a broader scope and more ambitious goal. New movie deals with the core problem of contemporary life in the post 9/11 era: Lack of communication. The apt title refers to the biblical notion of people speaking different languages and unable to establish human communication. It’s hard to think of another film that demonstrates so vividly and touchingly the thesis of six degrees of separation.

Shot in three countries (Mexico, Japan, and Morocco) and in four languages (English is the fourth), “Babel” shows continuity in Innaritu’s thematic concerns, namely, the vulnerability and fragility of human beings in today’s paranoid and terror-ridden world as they try to communicate across geographical borders and language barriers in Third-World countries. Separated by clashing cultures and sprawling distances, each of the four disparate groups is hurtling towards a shared destiny of isolation and grief, and ultimately reunion and redemption.

Space doesn’t permit me to dwell in detail on each of the characters. Take, for example, the troubled married American couple Richard (Pitt) and Susan (Blanchett), who vacation in the Muslim country of Morocco. From the outside, they look like a couple that’s physically lost in the far and exotic desert, while in reality, they are emotionally lost. We quickly find out that their marital strain derives from the loss of a child, a tragedy for which each partner blames the other and from which neither has recovered.

Susan becomes an innocent victim, when two Mexican brothers, trying to test the range of the new rifle given to them by their father to protect their goats from jackals, fire a shot that hits her while leaning against the bus’ window. Stranded in the middle of nowhere, with no phones or hospitals in sight, Richard and Susan are at the mercy of their peers on the tour bus (impatient to leave the place for fear of another terrorists attack) and also dependent on the help of the local villagers (an old woman and a kind veterinarian), who live a primitive life by Western technological standards.

A second tale revolves around a Mexican nanny, Amelia (Barraza), working illegally for Richard and Susan in San Diego amidst the wealth of California. Under pressure to attend her son’s wedding in Mexico, and ill-advised by her nephew Santigao (Bernal), Amelia makes the fatal mistake of bringing the two American kids illegally across the border. After a celebratory evening, heading back home, the foursome are stopped at the border and become victims of ruthless patrolmen. The hot-tempered Santiago, after one too many drinks, makes a bad choice and drops Amelia and the children, while trying to escape from the chasing police.

The film’s most au courant issuereflecting Bush’s inconsistent and hypocritical immigration policyis Amelia’s story, framed as a fable that sums up the situation of thousands of Mexicans who cross the American border and face the double standards set by both the Mexican and American governments. A symbol of numerous “invisible” citizens, Amelia is left to her destiny, unprotected by immigration laws in either country. The fact that she has lived with the American couple for 11 years and raised their children means nothing to the authorities.

A third story focuses on a widowed Japanese father (vet actor Koji Yokusho), trying to emotionally connect with his deaf-mute daughter (newcomer Rinko Kikuchi) in the midst of the intensely urban setting of Tokyo. Victimized and ostracized, and still suffering the loss of a mother who committed a suicide, Chieko falls into sexual extremes as a way of making up for genuine affection.

There are two or three scenes, in which the girl tries to seduce boys in the cafeteria, and later a handsome Japanese cop, by stripping nude or exposing her genitalia in public. Using Cheiko’s subject POV, Innaritu illustrates what it means to be deaf-mute in a busy disco by alternating loud music with complete silence, a device that yields sharp dramatic effect.

The central metaphor of “Babel” is that of loss, both physical and emotional. In the tightly-controlled storyset continuously over two dayseach of the ten characters is forced to face the dizzying sensation of being profoundly lost: lost in the desert, lost in a senseless world of politics and paranoia, and most painfully, lost to and from themselves.

In the hands of Arriaga, an adept and shrewd screenwriter, all of the characters are first pushed to the edge of confusion and fear, and then pushed back to the depth of connection, redemption, and love. Arriaga and Innaritu demonstrate masterfully how one whimsical act ricochets into an international scandal with immediate suspicions of terrorism, due to the inflammatory times in which we live.

Significantly, in “Babel,” miscommunication is not a philosophical notion in a Jean Paul Sartre’s existential mode, but in a more realistic, vividly illustrating the notions of isolation and alienation as they apply to our everyday lives. “Babel” is not an abstract or allegorical movie about how difficult or impossible it is to communicate, but about how values, stereotypes, and prejudices are much more divisive than physical borders or linguistic barriers.

The film says that you don’t have to be lost in the Moroccan desert or in the middle of Tokyo’s Shibuya district to feel isolated. The most terrifying loneliness is the one we experiment with our intimate partners (wives, children, friends), and within ourselves.

In each of his films, Innaritu has placed personal stories about parents and children within larger socio-political contexts. On some theoretical level, the geo-political international thriller “Syriana” is similar in scope to “Babel.” Yet what was dry, journalistic, remote, and emotionless in “Syriana,” becomes personal, melodramatic and gripping in “Babel,” a film that offers so many compelling figures that almost any viewer would be able to find a character to guide him through the maze.

Finally, “Babel” explores effectively the inherent contradiction between the popular perception of the world as a place that seemingly getting smaller and more intimate, due to new and sophisticated tools of communication, and the equally strong sense that as humans we still can’t express ourselves and communicate with each other at the most fundamental level.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter