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Babel

DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 8.48
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Babel Babel 3.8 out of 5 stars (12)
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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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What we say Feb. 22 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What we say March 22 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:HD 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.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything is interconnected Feb. 29 2012
By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time Dec 22 2007
By Aeneas
Format:DVD
I looked forward to this movie as the reviews spoke of a great movie. Instead it was truly disappointing. It followed Murphy's law that if something can go wrong it does go wrong and it truly did. There was nothing harmonious in it as it jumped from Marocco, to Mexico, to Japan in a disjointed fashion with lots of jump in time as well. The director just tried to do too much and it didn't work. The acting was nothing to speak about either. Nope, you can skip this one.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Babel is a confusing and complicated film. March 9 2007
By Vader
Format:DVD
I'll never understand how this movie received 7 Oscars nominations and it didn't deserve the Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Film. The movie is confusing and complicated. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are on a holiday in Morocco when things take turn for the worse when she's shot. This movie had too many sub-plots and failed to live up to my expections. I bought into all the critical acclaim and all the praise that this movie received and it failed to deliver. The deaf-mute girl and her sexual exploits didn't belong in this movie. The plot was supposed to be centered around Cate Blanchett's character getting shot. The nanny and her partner who ran the border in Mexico to go into the United States. The two kids fooling around with gun to see how the gun would fire. This movie just didn't make the grade for me.

I think this movie would have been better with a terrorist plot. That would have made more sense than the characters on all four continents.

Babel just doesn't make the grade. It's different and not much better than Crash. Babel didn't deserve a best picture nomination. Dreamgirls or Flags of our fathers would have been a better.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
hard
Published 1 month ago by madeleine champagne
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable film
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... Read more
Published on April 27 2009 by Kona
3.0 out of 5 stars a little too much obsessed methinks
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... Read more
Published on March 5 2009 by Brian Maitland
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
I looked forward to this movie as the reviews spoke of a great movie. Instead it was truly disappointing. Read more
Published on Dec 22 2007 by Aeneas
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as thought it would be
With all the hype, (the Golden Globe award, the Academy nominations) I was expecting a lot more. Something along the lines of Crash stretched over several continents. Read more
Published on March 17 2007 by Erico
5.0 out of 5 stars Lasting impression
Babel is incredibly thought-provoking and a thoroughly gripping experience. There were several plots that are occuring simultaneously between the characters, and every one has you... Read more
Published on Feb. 28 2007 by Jubejube
4.0 out of 5 stars People behaving badly
Although this movie's very long

And jumps around quite madly

You'll find it's really all about

People behaving badly

Moroccan boys play... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2007 by Amanda Richards
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