Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore

  Publicity Stills of "Babel"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Drama
Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rinko Kikuchi, Adriana Barraza, Koji Yakusho, Michael Pena, Clifton Collins Jr., Elle Fanning
RunTime: 2 hrs 22 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: M18 (Sexual Scenes)
Official Website:

Opening Day: 25 January 2007


A tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation, interweaving four stories set in Morocco, Tunisia, Mexico, and Japan. In the remote sands of the Moroccan desert, a rifle shot rings out--detonating a chain of events that will link an American tourist couple’s frantic struggle to survive, two Moroccan boys involved in an accidental crime, a nanny illegally crossing into Mexico with two American children and a Japanese teen rebel whose father is sought by the police in Tokyo. Separated by clashing cultures and sprawling distances, each of these four disparate groups of people are nevertheless hurtling towards a shared destiny of isolation and grief. In the course of just a few days, they will each face the dizzying sensation of becoming profoundly lost--lost in the desert, lost to the world, lost to themselves--as they are pushed to the farthest edges of confusion and fear as well as to the very depths of connection and love.

Movie Review:

The creation of the different languages and cultures could have been traced back to the construction of the tower of Babel. Humans were speaking in the same language and were highly efficient in constructing a tower that reaching the gates of heaven. To put a stop to it, God made them speak in different languages and disconnecting the ability to communicate among each other, which resulted in the entire construction process coming to a halt.

It might seems that this movie it tackling on the problems caused by different languages as it’s taking place in three different continents and using 3 different languages other than English to tell four different intertwining stories. On a closer look, it might be suggesting that the movie is trying to highlight the breakdown in communication among people.

Such as Richard (Brad Pitt) and Susan (Cate Blanchett) as the frantic couple who are trying to get help in the Moroccan desert after Susan been shot by a stray bullet. The language barrier between this couple and the locals that result in difficulties in getting help is secondary compared to the breakdown in communication between the couple.

Both Richard and Susan are dealing with a recent tragedy but neither of them is able to effectively communicate to each other on the matter, creating a rift in their strain relationship. In the midst of a place that’s predominated by foreign language and foreign law, the crux of this segment was really whether could they heal the rift between before time runs out for them.

The other story in this continent was more straightforward in drawing the line where the communication fails. The father of the two children who involved with the accidental crime could have prevented the accident from happening if he had communicate the danger and responsibilities of handling a weapon and the authorities could have chosen tactful methods in looking for those who caused the accident. But it’s such minor matters that we tend to overlook which results in tragic outcomes.

On the other side of the world, a Mexican nanny faces racial discrimination treatments as she tried to cross the US custom with her American wards. While the Moroccan segment got going fairly early, the Mexican segment took a while before the climatic error in misjudgment due to miscommunication. It was quite a drag and more issues could have been drawn out from the uneasy tension at the Mexican American borders that is currently plaguing the two countries.

The last story arc concerning the Japanese teenager is the seemly least connected with the rest of the stories. One could argue that it’s the weakest link among all four stories but by the way it distancing itself for the other stories brought forth one of the best short stories about alienation in the busy cosmopolitan setting.

On the surface, it might seem that it’s all about the stereotypical Japanese teenagers who is having her sexual awakening. The methods that Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi) used in her approach towards men that she fancy felt like it was straight out from a Japanese Adult Video (Japanese Porn for the uninitiated) and those methods were awkwardly, depraved and rather blatantly.

On a closer look, these actions are really a desperate plead for acceptance in her life and seeking solitude to deal with events that had affected her for a long time. While Rinko Kikuchi is not the prettiest Japanese actress around, she brought forth a more believable performance of the sensibility and emotions of an average Japanese teenager trying to fit in.

The woes of miscommunication are explicitly and subtly touch on through out Babel. While some hit home the message instantly, others need savored after leaving the theater. It’s not an easy film to follow and viewers often get yanked out of a certain segment before able to fully immense themselves into the story and character that the segment is trying to say. It can get a bit disconnecting but stay till the end and you will discover what Babel is talking about.

Movie Rating:

(In traditions of Traffic, Syriana and Crash, Babel’s topic on communications shouldn’t be missed)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004-2007, movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.