Babel (2006)

“[signing] They look at us like we’re monsters.” – Chieko

Number of Times Seen – 2 (22 Apr 2008 and 13 Feb 2018)

Brief Synopsis – Four tales of different people around the world trying to deal with the problems they face in life.

My Take on it – This is yet another (relatively) recent Best Picture Nominee that my rewatch has changed my views of the film for the better.

When I saw this film over a decade ago, I couldn’t understand how it could possibly have won Best Picture – Drama at the Golden Globes that year.

The story felt disjointed and uneven due to the fact that they attempt to tell 4 different stories and make a connection between them.

Upon rewatching it this week, I came to realize that the main point of this film is the ever reaching global world we live in where it is somehow possible for a story in Mexico/San Diego, a story in Morocco, a story in japan and a tale of American tourists in Morocco could somehow realistically be connected.

Perhaps the fact that I already knew the connection this time contributed to me enjoying it more because I could focus on the way that the film compartmentalizes things yet gives us subtle clues to the connections.

The way that they show how the pieces of the story slowly come together works really well largely due to the fact that they try to focus on the personal stories of these characters in relationship to a global viewpoint.

The cast is quite good here, but since they need to tell 4 distinct stories in this runtime, it sometimes feels as if some of the stories are getting a bit overlooked here and there so it’s harder for anyone to shine.

This film was nominated for 7 Oscars yet only managed to win for Best Score.

Bottom Line – Great story because it takes a global idea and compartmentalizes it in a way that is enjoyable to discover the true connection between them all.  The way the pieces start to slowly come together says so much about the way this story unfolds since they find a way to focus on the character’s personal issues and not only the overall story. Great cast but since they need to split the runtime between 4 distinct stories, no one really shines as much as they probably could have. Only won one of its 7 Oscar nominations and that was for the musical score. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Alejandro G. Iñárritu and his writer Guillermo Arriaga had a big falling out over credit for the film. This stemmed mainly over credit of authorship over their previous film “21 Grams”. Arriaga argued that cinema is a collaborative medium and that both he and Inarritu should have shared credit over the entire project, whereas Inarritu was claiming sole credit. As a result, Inarritu banned Arriaga from attending the 2006 Cannes Film Festival to great criticism from his peers. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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8 thoughts on “Babel (2006)

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