Sunday, March 28, 2010


Babel is an award winning film; It garnered multiple awards (including an Oscar) a couple years back. I've heard that it was a great movie but I just didn't have the time to really watch it. So yesterday, I've finally took some time to sit down and watch the 150-minute long film.

There are 3 different stories told in one. These 3 stories are in ways related, though the linds of linkages wasn't illustrated at the beginning. 

The stories are set in 3 different places, namely Morocco, Japan and Mexico (with a bit of U.S.).
It opens with the Moroccan background, in which a trading of a sniper was done. Two boys were super excited about the new 'toy' their dad bought, intended for scaring away birds. 

The next part of the story shows a Mexican lady taking care of two American children and the next we were transported to the lights and sounds of the Japan, where we see a teenage girl playing volleyball. Then we head back to Morocco where we see Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett almost arguing.

The thing about this film is that the its sequence is not in place. The time frame of the story is basically all over the place, so you kinda have to put the puzzle together yourself.

Most of the time, I feel like I'm watching 3 different movies. So it's not boring in that way.
The three stories encircles various themes - mainly discrimination, but it also touches on brotherhood, insecurities and of course love.

I'd argue that racism and discrimination is quite an obvious theme in the movie. We see how the Mexican lady was accused of kidnapping the American children, whom she has brought up. She was like a mother to those kids but just because she is Mexican, she is suspected of the act. It is fair to argue that it's good to take precautions and all but she was treated somewhat unfairly in my opinion.

Another clear indication of discrimination is the way Americans link Middle Eastern incidents to terrorism, without solid facts or proofs. When Cate Blanchett got shot in Morocco, speculations where made without facts. It was merely the act two naughty boys who went a bit too far with their dad's sniper. 

The Japanese story involves this young teenage girl who felt insecure of herself. She desperately wants attention and she feels not good enough. Thus, she is constantly trying to gain men's attention by offering to disclose some parts, oh well, every part of her body. I'm not sure why but I'm really disgusted with the Japanese story. I don't know why but sometimes, the 'openness' of the Japanese culture freaks me out. I mean, Japan used to have a historical culture, and when I think Japan, I think cherry blossom trees and beautiful pink sakura flowers. Now however, when I think Japan, I think of girls trying to be cute, wearing mini short skirts with no underwears, teens living a lose wild & high life...yeah and seriously, these movies don't help by portraying that part of Japan.

I am very touched by the Moroccan brother's story. Though they seemed to be at each other all the time, it was touching to see the sacrifice a brother would make for his other brother. 

I guess some people might deem the way the director interrelate three stories of three different cultures together as impressive. However, I feel that the links are pretty weak though it is not a weakness in the movie as the movie is not about how these different characters' relationships.  I guess it's just about the way the world connects as one. But I was pretty disappointed because I never knew why Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were in Morocco in the first place. I also do not really get the resolution of the Japanese story - I believe it's because of my lack of artistic understanding of a film.

Babel is obviously inclined towards the artistic genre...though it is not as boring as most artistic films because it does have interesting moments. I do think it is culturally significant because the film highlights the different lifestyle and cultures of different people from different cities.

Overall, not a bad watch.

TC-My Rating:

With Lotsa Love,
Ps: This review took me weeks to complete...I don't know why but I kinda lost the inspiration to pen this one.

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"I love movies for its subjectivity. A movie is debatable. A single scene can mean a million things and the fun part is talking about them."