Something to ‘Babel’ About

babel-posterUsually, when one decides to venture to a movie theater or watch something at home, they tend to either look to attain a cheap laugh or to be scared out of their pants. It seems the art of great storytelling has been lost from the imaginations of modern movie makers in an attempt to cash in comic book-inspired or animated movies that always pull in huge audiences.

However, there are films left that manage to tell a phenomenal stories and don’t feature any animated penguins or English double agents. “Babel,” directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, shares the story of a few families interlocked in one unbelievable tragedy, pulling no punches in telling this remarkably touching and deep tale of circumstance.

The single element that is responsible for Babel’s depth and richness are the many twists and turns that envelop the plot development [Those familiar with films like Crash and Pulp-Fiction will feel right at home because of this]. As a matter of fact, sometimes it feels that “Babel” could have been four separate films, due to the amount of depth, intrigue and drama each lend to the entire plot as a whole.

Also helping the plot development are solid performances by Hollywood big-wigs Brad Pitt [Seven, Fight Club] and Cate Blanchett [Lord of the Rings, The Aviator] who play a troubled American married couple on vacation in Morocco that are brought to the brink of disaster to only find themselves more in love with each other than ever before.

Despite the performances of Pitt and Blanchett however, Rinko Kikuchi steals the hearts of the audience as the young Chieko, a deaf/mute Japanese teenager trying to find herself in a world that can’t accept her for who she is. This ability to have such a diverse cast in various locations all over the world also lends to the film’s quality and in the process, gives every viewer watching something they can relate to and are interested in.

Simply put, films like this don’t come around often and because of that, “Babel” is a must-see. The acting is great and the plot is so strong and heartfelt that many may find themselves going to the theater to see it again. Those looking for a great movie that will have them talking at the water cooler the next day, need to look no further; “Babel” will make you think and will make you wonder why more movies aren’t made the same way.

enablingAlejandro González Iñárritu’s 2006 epic, “Babel,” is certainly worthy of praise. With brilliant acting on all counts and a uniquely complicated plot, this cleverly-named tale traces a series of storylines in direct correlation to one another – a tangled spiderweb of various cultures and languages, like the tower of its eponym.

It is not, however, without its problems. A particularly vivid happenstance manifests in Chieko Wakaya’s extraordinary ability to match a song’s rhythm despite her inability to hear it – better than many of those endowed with hearing. Although it can be argued that the character is simply extremely perceptive and visually matches her neighboring dancers, the excuse would be a weak one at best.

Despite this oversight, the film’s sheer complexity easily thrills even the most skeptical viewer, as it simultaneously and warmly weaves an array of cultural storylines at a time of their political opposition. In this, he ultimately proves that people are simply people and we are all united by our definitively human wishes.

A must-see, “Babel” is a celebration of the human condition.

-Olga Privman

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9869 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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