Babel is the worst thing I have seen in a long long time. Please notice I didn’t say the worst movie, because while that’s true it’s not totally accurate. No, it’s the worst THING I’ve seen, including war on the TV and roadkill while driving. It’s worse than a funeral too because usually eulogies hold some element of hope. Hate is not my feeling towards this one, nor is anger. If you could fuse the words and then add some type of snarling thing where I try and actually bite the movie projector you’re getting closer. If you see this and like it I can only pray for your soul. Man is it bad.
Also, I should mention if you are feeling down you shouldn’t see this. You’ll throw yourself off a building. When I saw World Trade Center I thought it was one of the saddest movies I’d seen in a while but this one makes that look like goddamn Mary Poppins. It is BRUTALLY sad. Even if you’re happy with your life you’ll still probably need to be held by a loved one after this experience. God did I hate it. I should mention at some point I started laughing hysterically during this to try and survive. I believe that’s the hostage syndrome at work.
There are four interwoven stories here. One is about deaf Japanese girl who had a tough time because she wants to be the same as the kids who hear. Also her mom is dead. Maybe her dad did it. Also she’d like to have sex, but her sign language makes her an outcast. Next up, two sheep herding brothers in Morocco are given a rifle by their dad. Yes, plenty of good will come of this. An American tourist and his wife (Pitt and Blanchett, both of whom are wretched in this) are traveling to get away; they seem to be having some tension in the marriage (SPOILER Invisotext: we will come to find out this tension is due to a dead baby, oh happy days). Finally two small children are being watched by a Hispanic nanny. She needs to get back to Mexico where her son is getting married but the father of the children isn’t able to make it back in time for her to attend the wedding. Fortunately they all get hit by a bus en masse. No, only kidding, but you get the idea.
The tales all come together in a giant raging river of sadness. Each scene in the movie drips with an inevitable dread. From the giant movie music swelling to the looks of horror in every character’s eyes you just know these people are meant for doom. This is where my real beef is, the straight linear line of obvious plot points this one travels down. Instead of a story arc we’re given a story arrow, straight from boring to a boring (yet sad) finale. The level of complexity is nil. It doesn’t exist. It’s a simple sad tale straight out of the 1400’s.
So basically I would not recommend this unless you need that final little push towards depression. I personally wouldn’t see it again for anything less than $100, and even then I’d demand that I be whacked out of my mind on sedatives and booze.
Okay, as Babel now looks to be an Oscar darling I’ll admit that my view is in the minority. I guess it comes down to why you see movies in the first place. For me, I want to be entertained first and foremost, and Babel wasn’t entertaining to me due to the depression level. Dre, and 85% of the critical world disagree.