It’s New To Me — Babel

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Side Note: There is a large list of movies that have past through theaters and have since been on DVD for a few months or more. But we here at Common Review still feel the need to watch these movies and give them our opinions. With that being said, anytime you see “It’s New To Me” in the title, know that we’re reviewing older movies with new eyes. In fact, Josh has already written two. Here’s my first. End Side Note.

Despite hearing mixed reviews, I’ve been wanting to watch Babel since I first read about it last year. The trailers and the story outline intrigued me so much so that I could no understand why there was some negative opinions about the film. I didn’t really read any of the reviews though, I just knew they existed. Finally, a few weeks ago I sat down and watched it, and it was exactly what I hoped it would be.
Babel is a captivating and enthralling story that doesn’t focus on any one character, but rather 4 different groups of people who are all loosely connected by tragedy. Beyond this tragedy though, we delve deeper into what it is to be human, to feel pain, to communicate and how all things things actually make us similar.

The story, which is separated into 4 interconnected parts, begins at Moroccan farm, where a goat herder (Mustapha Rachidi) is buying a rifle for his sons (Said Tarchani and Boubker Ait El Caid) to use to fend off predators.

But when the boys take the gun out, they end up accidentally shooting an American woman (Cate Blanchett) who is traveling with her husband (Brad Pitt) on a tour bus; this ends up being misconstrued as a terrorist attack.

The husband struggles with the stress and worry about helping his wife, but at the same time he wants to be sure he’s kids (Elle Fanning and Nathan Gamble) are still being cared for back in San Diego. The caretaker (Adriana Barraza) finds out she must to stay with the kids since there is no one else to take care of them, and this poses a problem because her son is getting married in Mexico. She decides to take them with her, without permission, but has some trouble when she’s crossing back into the States.

All the while, we have a businessman in Japan (Koji Yakusho) who is the original owner of the gun used in the shooting. We find him as he desperately tries to connect with his deaf daughter (Rinko Kikuchi) as she struggles to find an identity and while still coping with the death of her mother.

This is by no means a simple story and there is definitely a lot happening, but I don’t think that any part is unnecessary to the overall themes we’re exploring. I wouldn’t walk into this one expecting to leave on a high note, this is an emotionally charged story and you will feel drained, it effects you that much, or at least it did me. There are definitely hard and real issues dealt with in this movie and some of the scenes are difficult to watch. In particular, the scenes in which Rinko’s character tries to express herself through sexual frustrations.

The directing (Alejandro González Iñárritu) is nothing short of brilliant as is the writing (Guillermo Arriaga) and the cinematography(Rodrigo Prieto) was absolutely gorgeous. The characters were realistic and easy to identify with them on all level; and while the writing played a part, most of the praise should be showered upon the cast, all of which give tremendous performances, especially Pitt, Blanchett, Barraza, and Rinko.

With so much done right, this film is hard to be ignored. I would definitely recommend it, but be advised: this is an emotionally charged drama.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Drama, DVD, It's New To Me, Review

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