Monday, January 22, 2007

Babel



Okay I did it. I finally got to the theater to see Babel this week-end, and enjoyed the film immensely. I’m a big admirer of the director Alejandro González Iñárritu. I loved “21 Grams”, and thought it was done surprisingly well. Since it’s win of a golden globe the movie is suddenly getting more theater play. According to Box Office report Babel came in 12th up 505% from the previous week. Guess you can say that the Golden globe award can be translated into box office dollars.

The film, which deals with several story lines that sort of inter-connect, is interesting, yet I did hear a few grumblings from the audience as I walked out. Seems as though some had a hard time following the characters, and the director’s use of non-linear storytelling confused the audience a bit. My only complaint was that some scenes played too long, and maybe the filmmaker could have cut it a bit. The film runs 142 minutes and though I don’t find that long I do feel there were some scenes that just went on too long. An example of this would be the scene in the nightclub that takes place in Tokyo. I understand that the director wanted to convey a sense of alienation with one of the characters who is deaf going to a disco, but the scene just ran way too long for me. The editing along with the cinematography seemed too drawn out. But that’s my only quip about this film, and it’s overall a good film. The film does have a message which it aptly conveys, and I look forward to Alejandro González Iñárritu next film.

The film is about when tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving six different families. How Iñárritu achieve this is pretty remarkable. The film is written by Guillermo Arriaga who also wrote “21 Grams” & “Amores Perros”. An actress who should be singled out which I don’t think will should be Rinko Kikuchi who plays Chieko. She plays the deaf mute, and though she has no audible lines she conveys her character quite truthfully, and you feel for her. The filmmaker handled her storyline with great compassion and it did say a lot about our society and how many people can feel disconnected from the rest of society. All in all it was a good film, and that’s three for three in my book. First "Children of Men" then "Pan's Labyrinth ", and now "Babel". That does not happen often and it was a pleasure to watch some skillful storytelling. I hope "Babel" gets a few more awards and maybe then Hollywood will release the film to a larger audience though I do hear that the DVD release for this film is already planned for February 20th of this year. Knowing Hollywood it will, but as William Goldman said "nobody knows nothing", and that's oddly true about Hollywood Land.

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