Saturday, November 18, 2006
"Babel" is the newest film from director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. As he's done in the past with "Amores Perros" and "21 Grams", he expertly weaves multiple story lines connected by a single thread. With each film, Inarritu continues to impress with this style of storytelling.
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett play American tourists traveling in the Moroccan desert. While they are both major stars, this film is truly an ensemble piece and their story is but one of four human dramas with one thing in common. Pitt manages to disappear into his role and does some great work with his limited scenes. Blanchett, due to the nature of her role, is limited in her acting, but still conveys a great deal of emotion. The film also features Gael Garcia Bernal and an excellent group of international co-stars.
The action shifts back and forth through time and place from the Moroccan desert to the Southwestern US, Mexico and Japan. The stories are so believable and the acting is so good, you will feel like you're watching CNN News rather than a movie. When Cate Blanchett's character is accidentally struck by a rifle shot, it sets off a series of further accidents and misunderstandings affecting her children, their Mexican nanny, the Moroccan family that owned the rifle and a Japanese deaf-mute teenage girl and her father. What transpires throughout is tragic and yet by the end, we sense a glimmer of hope for at least some of the characters.
This is a thoughtful and moving drama and one of the year's best films.