“Babel” (2006)

Director: Alejandro González Iñarritu

Writer: Guillermo Arriaga; Alejandro Iñarritu

Genre: Drama/Thriller


Here, once more, as in the rest of the trilogy, the non linear narrative is used, by the over layering of stories that connect at some point. It works here as 4 short stories, which are edited and viewed in excerpts, with a specific order. Each story is clear and easy to get, if analysed without the link to the others. The order of the excerpts is always:

1-morocan kids 2-the Mexican babysitter and the American children 3-the Americans in Morocco 4-the Japanese story

This order repeats constantly but the chronology within each one isn’t synchronized. So, story 1 begins at the end of story 2, which develops in parallel with story 3. Story 4 is more free in terms of time attachment, but some things show that it should happen approximately in parallel with the previous 2 stories.

All the construction, which is rather intelligent, reflects the extreme simplicity of the world it pretends to show, carrying the idea of a new order of values replacing the existing one, the order of mankind replacing the primitive order of nature (the “storytelling” being replaced by complexity in narrative, the spontaneous vs the cerebral). So, it talks about the idea of the individual dominated by a complex system, which, however, everybody helped creating. And the title of the picture gets justified here: the biblical metaphor for the creation of the languages showed the punishment of the growing vanity. Here it shows the inability to communicate as the motivation to violence and fights between people.

Practically every event (bad event) that take place happen as a consequence of failure in communication. The inability to get ideas through goes beyond the ignorance of the languages, causes the isolation of the individual in the global context. And what Iñarritu does is to treat this cinematically. The Japanese girl is deaf-mute (not by chance) and that allows in her scenes to place the camera inside and outside her viewing point, as deaf and mute, either in the absence of communication/reception or in what is not communicated. The scene in the disco is absolutely remarkable in that point. The work of the camera is, by the way, remarkable in every scene concerning the Japanese girl. when she waits for the elevator, back to the policemen, and the spectator gets the whole picture. Than she turns and the spectator becomes her. This is truly cinematic.

My evaluation: 4/5 fascinating experience

This comment on IMDB


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