Monday, January 08, 2007

If you Want to be Understood...Listen

BABEL (2006) - if you Want to be Understood...Listen
Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inrritu

I have been very picky about movies lately and have slowly graduated towards meaningful cinema. I often do my bit of research reading reviews from trusted sources. This was a movie that was decided on the fly, but I managed to have an opinion from a good friend of whom i think highly of. The facts that the movie had won 9 global awards and 29 nominations and stars Bradd Pitt were enough testimonials for me to consider watching it. Was it a sorry decision or did it stay upto its reputation? If you care to know, read ahead!!

Babel is a simple unassuming yet forceful story that intertwines lives of characters present across four different countries, as disparate as Morocco, United States, Mexico, and Japan.(Does it ring bells of our desi DOR or YUVA). The movie scores in its intriguing, yet innocuous way the story is linked between a shepherd family from Morocco with that of a upmarket father daughter duo in Japan. The treatment of the movie is similar to that of Kukonoor’s magnum opus, but unlike DOR the narrative is more engaging. The story keep shifting back and forth from present to flashback and only when it has tested your patience to the hilt, does it unravel the connections between the different threads.

Babel is a character focused movie and the characters stand tall above the story or the plot. The story revolves around a few central characters: Two gutsy kids from the Moroccan hills; An American tourister stranded with his wounded wife; A Japanese teenager(deaf and mute) who thinks she is ignored by her father and allows herself to be sucked into the world of drugs and promiscuity.

Resembles and has flashes of Quentin Tarantino’s style. Some scenes would shudder you by its sheer intensity and you could live these moments. For example, the scene where the girl gets into a high with drugs or the one where the kid retaliates with his gun against the cops. Each of these characters are as powerful as the other and for me casting Bradd Pitt was only to add star value to the movie, nevertheless his was a classy act too.

* Not to be seen as a light entertainment for an idyllic Saturday evening, but with a deliberate preparedness.
* Spattering of sleaze, though treated well wouldn’t go down well with the Indian sensibilities.


Mani Ratnam’s Yuva, was adapted from Inrritu’s Ameros Peros.

- Ravi


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