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Babel


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Product Details

  • Language: Arabic, English, French, Japanese, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MCH5P4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #45,633 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Director Alejandro González Iñárritu and his co-writer, Guillermo Arriaga (the two also collaborated on Amores Perros and 21 Grams) weave together the disparate strands of their story into a finely hewn fabric by focusing on what appear to be several equally incongruent characters: an American (Brad Pitt) touring Morocco with his wife (Cate Blanchett) become the focus of an international incident also involving a hardscrabble Moroccan farmer (Mustapha Rachidi) struggling to keep his two young sons in line and his family together. A San Diego nanny (Adriana Barraza), her employers absent, makes the disastrous decision to take their kids with her to a wedding in Mexico. And a deaf-mute Japanese teen (the extraordinary Rinko Kikuchi) deals with a relationship with her father (Koji Yakusho) and the world in general that's been upended by the death of her mother. It is perhaps not surprising, or particularly original, that a gun is the device that ties these people together. Yet Babel isn't merely about violence and its tragic consequences. It's about communication, and especially the lack of it--both intercultural, raising issues like terrorism and immigration, and intracultural, as basic as husbands talking to their wives and parents understanding their children. Iñárritu's command of his medium, sound and visual alike, is extraordinary; the camera work is by turns kinetic and restrained, the music always well matched to the scenes, the editing deft but not confusing, and the film (which clocks in at a lengthy 143 minutes) is filled with indelible moments. Many of those moments are also pretty stark and grim, and no will claim that all of this leads to a "happy" ending, but there is a sense of reconciliation, perhaps even resolution. "If You Want to be Understood... Listen," goes the tagline. And if you want a movie that will leave you thinking, Babel is it. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2007
Format: DVD
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga (who have sadly had a falling-out) may be one of the most formidable creative teams in the industry. Without resorting to cheap sentiments or preaching, Iñárritu crafts a quietly compelling follow-up to "21 Grams," with an introspective look at the interlaced lives after a tragedy.

Two boys in Morocco buy a rifle, and while testing it out, they strike a passing tourist bus. Unfortunately, the bullet strikes a vacationing American woman (Cate Blanchett), in the middle of a rural area with no real medical facilities. Unable to be transported, the woman and her husband (Brad Pitt) are dropped off in a rural village, to await help.

Unknowingly, the boys have triggered off shattering events in other people's lives across the world -- a troubled, deaf Japanese girl (Rinko Kikuchi) causes a commotion, and the police find that this neglected, lonely teen is the daughter of the man who originally had the boys' rifle. And the American couple's nanny (Adriana Barraza) is delayed going to her son's wedding, and attempts to bring the children into Mexico with her -- with disastrous results.

"Babel" is like a series of completely different photographs, but with the same person in the background. These haunting looks at how lives can be changed in an instant -- and the effects of violence, whether malicious or careless -- makes up the last volume of Iñárritu and Arriaga's "Death Trilogy." It illustrates death with the fragility of life.

But it's also about the difficulty of communicating in the modern world.
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By Kona TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 27 2009
Format: DVD
Several stories set in places around the world are related only by a freak accident with a rifle: An American couple (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchette) are on a tour bus in the Moroccan desert when the wife is shot by a some poor children who are trying out their new rifle. Back home in San Diego, the couple's housekeeper takes their children across the border into Mexico with near-tragic results, while the rifle is traced to a businessman in Japan.

The separate-but-ultimately-related-stories technique is similar to that used in the movies Crash and Traffic and used just as effectively. Each story is grim and edge-of-your-seat intense; I don't think I took a deep breath during the whole movie. All of the actors are excellent as is the location photography. We see some good, bad, and ugly in several different cultures as families deal with unexpected events.

The title relates to the Tower of Babel, where God confounded the people's language so they couldn't understand each other. Certainly, each story has frustrating moments of poor communication that become matters of life and death. Though the movie is long, the tension never lets up and I was really caught up in the drama. Highly recommended.
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By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 5 2009
Format: DVD
Babel is worth watching as the director does a great job of interweaving the three storylines. The problem is twofold--the scriptwriter seems too be far too obsessed with bodily functions and borderline child porn. What is up with the scenes involving panties or no panties. Even a tender scene (SPOILER ALERT) of Brad Pitt helping his injured wife, played by Cate Blanchett, pee turns slightly sexual the way the scene is written/shot.

Also, near as I can tell the movie wants to say the following:
1. Never give a weapon as a gift to a Moroccan.
2. Always have a doctor onboard a tour bus.
3. When taking American kids across a border, make sure your nanny is a legal alien and the driver is not drunk.
4. Dead mute teenagers in Tokyo are toasted out of their minds.

Other than that, this movie makes perfect sense. Also, having lived in Tokyo for decades it captures Tokyo life quite well but in over 20 years of living there I've yet to find an apartment building with a 24-hr. doorman let alone any doorman. This was either a very wealthy area of Tokyo that has adopted some Western-style security or it's one the movie world made up.
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By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 29 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Babel (2006)
Drama, 143 minutes
Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Rinko Kikuchi

Nominated for seven Oscars and winning for best score, Babel is a sprawling tale of how a gun links four separate groups of people. Pitt and Blanchett are the focus of one of the stories, but the other three are probably more compelling.

The film will take you to Morocco, the US, Mexico and Japan. It deals with themes such as love, loneliness, adolescence, the law, and kindness. It amazes me how people who have almost nothing will still give you something.

The appeal of Babel for me is the way in which Inarritu weaves the complex threads together to create a believable and enthralling story. Many of the actors were unknown to me, but I wasn't disappointed with any of the performances. It's hard to watch this film and not be moved emotionally by at least one of the stories; I was moved by all four.
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