Thursday, May 5, 2011

Babel - Movie Review

I had seen 'Babel' before - only I did not know it was Babel because I saw some later parts of the movie on a television channel. But it left a strong impression in my mind of the Mexican maid and the kids getting lost in the desert. So when I started watching the entire movie from the beginning I felt a sense of deja vu.

'Babel' is made in four or five countries with stories that are interlinked. It has apparently been shot in all these countries by different production houses. So Brad Pitt and his wife Cate Blanchett are in Morocco (of all the places) to get over some marital troubles at exactly the same time when a Moroccan shepherd buys a sophisticated gun from a Moroccan neighbour - a hunting guide with little money. (The shepherd needs the gun to scare off jackals that are eating up his sheep.) Of course we know nothing of all this because they are speaking in Moroccan which is another thing with this movie. All characters speak their language happily and I only got what I deciphered from the movie - the rest I figured out from the reviews. Anyway the shepherd gives his sons the rifle and goes off for some shopping and the kids try their hand at shooting cars and buses on the distant highway - in the process managing to shoot Ms. Sad Blachett who, one would say deserved to be shot. There is no Moroccan town for miles so they go to a small village where a witch like creature and a local surgeon sew her bullet wound up with some really primitive medicines and guess what - they work better than modern medicines which would have sent her into a coma if not to her grave. Sad Blanchett is good enough to go to a town in a copter primarily because the rest of the tourists are in a huge hurry to leave their wounded co-passengers alone and head back on the same route as they were shot in without any protection. Now that was dumb but we know that already!

Meanwhile we switch to a sexually frustrated Japanese girl in Tokyo or some place where there are many Japanese. She plays basketball, exposes herself to boys and all that stuff but somehow never gets anyone interested in taking her to bed. Her father is the chap who was in Morocco on a hunting trip and gifted the hunting guide his gun which eventually shot Sad Blanchett. Now the Japanese girls story end up rather sadly that no one takes her to bed despite her walking around nude for most of her part. On the other end of the globe the children of Brad Pitt and Sad Blanchett are in the hands of their loving Mexican maid who needs to go to Mexico for her son's wedding. She chooses to go with a nephew who looks like trouble  with a capital T from the word go. Anyway on the way back from a good insight into Mexican weddings they run into the law thanks to the nephew, get dumped in the desert and the maid gets thrown back to Mexico. Since copters are flying overhead and it is the efficient USA, we can assume that the kids are found safe and sound. The Mexican maid is deported, the Moroccan police track down the shepherds and kill one of them and hauls off the father and the younger son to jail.

'Babel' is an appropriate name for the movie because it is all noise as we don't understand any language. I did not understand a few things either which were left unsaid or undealt with. Anyway, as an experiment it is fine and definitely different from any other movie I have seen for the many new things they tried. My only suggestion is that if they had made all stories happier in the end it would have been so much more better. Why some have to die, some jailed, some deported while some have to survive bullet wounds in the neck because they are big stars like Sad Blanchett I did not understand. I'd have sent everyone back to their homes after a big scare and it all ends well! These guys could have taken a leaf out of 'Shor in the city' guys who did that to wonderful effect and lifted a normal effort into something extraordinary.

No comments: