Today was a Alejandro G. Iñárritu + Gael García Bernal day, and, as you know, that combination is better than peanut butter and jelly.. or if you’re Bosnian like myself, salami and cheese (we love plain salami/cheese sandwiches). Today I watched Babel for the first time and I was very hesitant until I read “Gael García Bernal” on the case, and I couldn’t help but not add a bit of Mexico to my graduation celebration.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a review on Amores Perros, also starring Gael García Bernal and directed by Iñárritu, and I loved it a lot and I think it’s one of the better movies I’ve ever seen. Babel has the same concept with various stories that have not much to do with one another but they are all interconnected. Another similarity is that both Amores Perros and Babel are harsh and tragic movies, which I absolutely love, as this kind of movies make an impact on me. While Amores Perros is only focused on Mexico and Mexican society, Babel reaches out to different parts of the world.
In the main story we follow an American couple in Morocco where the woman, portrayed by Cate Blanchett, gets shot. We then follow the story of two Moroccan boys who shot the American woman who, by the way, have nothing to do with her whatsoever, they just played with a rifle and wanted to see who is a better shooter. We also follow the American couple’s children back in San Diego with their Mexican nanny who also messes up big time, being in charge of the children, while their parents are stuck in Morocco. Lastly, we follow a story of a Japanese deaf girl who simply just wants to feel normal and fit in among her friends, but it turns out that her father has something to do with the shooting in Morocco.
Every story we follow in the movie is hectic and messed up, and I really appreciate that because happy ends are not always original and interesting. Babel focuses on relationships from husband/wife, sister/brother and parents/children to nanny/children, and I find the characters very deep as they try to deal with their respective problems. However, I feel that Cate’s part was a bit meh, probably because we didn’t see her that much but I felt that anyone could play her part, while Brad Pitt did an excellent job.
Babel is reality, life, emotions, sex, drugs, family, fitting in, fear, and real problems, and I love how Iñárritu manages to include all that in a movie, showing only snapshots of different stories. However, I was left with various questions when the movie ended because some things just seemed strange. Also, it jumps in time, which is unnecessary, in my opinion, and if you don’t follow everything 100%, you can risk not understanding some parts.
Babel is a good drama movie with a good cast, wonderful director and an excellent storyline. As I said, though, the movie leaves you with a bunch of questions, and some things just seem odd and they are never cleared up. I’d definitely recommend this movie to genuine movie lovers because Iñárritu really knows his sh*t, but when I compare it with Amores Perros, I have to give it 4 out of 5 clapperboards because Amores Perros is truly a masterpiece.