[Movie Review] Babel


Stranger Than Fiction
Political Access
30 Jan 2004
Before I start this review, a little history...

Alejandro González Iñárritu made a movie several years back called Amores perros. Apparently that loosely translates into "Love is a bitch". Bitch in this case literally meaning dog. The movie was a few stories linked together (weakly) by the fact that all of the people were crazy about their dogs. It was lame. But of course it won some awards and Iñárritu gets to keep making movies. Next he got a budget and hired some stars and made 21 Grams. Which was at times brilliant and at others ridiculous. Now he's made Babel and it has earned an Oscar nomination. Sadly he's making the same movie and he's not getting any better.

The review. What in the hell is Babel? Know what I think? I think its a reference to babel fish cause the movie seems to be saying we are all the same just separated by language. This is a big leap but I think I'm onto something. What you have is 3 stories all linked by the characters inability to understand each other. You've got the Americans who mistreat a Mexican nanny then there is the deaf mute Japanese girl and a Moroccan family. The way the 3 stories are intertwined involves more than just the language barriers but it still remains intangible. The performances are strong but at times distracting. For the most part everyone is an unknown, except for Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett. They stand out and draw unnecessary attention to themselves just by being there.

So where do I stand? I'm not sure, it's not terrible but it certainly isn't Oscar worthy, which of course means it will probably win and Iñárritu will get to make this movie again and again. I'm pretty disappointed, not just in the movie but in the fact that the Academy even nominated it. I think that has a lot do with the names and the reputations more than anything. If you like non-linear movies do yourself a favor and watch the movie that started it all, Pulp Fiction. Then you can watch Magnolia and Traffic and see more examples of how it's done right, this one does it wrong.

Final score... 2 out of 5 OSNN Stars.
Its actually in regards to the Tower of Babel a story from the bible where all mankind was linked by a common language. They sought to build a tower to the heavens. God came down and saw the tower and realised there was no limit to mans imagination and therefore nothing he couldn't achieve. So God destroyed the tower and confounded the tongues of man and scattered man across the globe.

Its the biblical story of why we have a variety of different languages. This is also the reason for the naming of the "babel fish" in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, this name was later selected for an AltaVista translation tool.

I believe the one language that united humanity was Sumerian though I am not completely clear on this. My main understanding of Babel comes from the book Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson which may have been bent to work with the story.
I had heard of the tower of babel. Knew it was biblical and my interest in learning more about it stopped there. I didn't know Hitchhikers was related to that story in any way. Guess I learned something today. Still, it makes me feel good deducing what the hell the movie was about with no prior knowledge of the origins. Too bad the movie wasn't better.
Interestingly and completely aside, E2M8 of the Original Doom was called the Tower of Babel (where you fought the cyber demon) - and you did start in a tower, aebeit one that was rooted in hell and was not built up to heaven.

There the meaning of babel was directly taken as a refrence to mans ruin, as messing about with the portals on Mars is what started the invasion in the first place.

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Also Hi EP and people. I found this place again while looking through a oooollllllldddd backup. I have filled over 10TB and was looking at my collection of antiques. Any bids on the 500Mhz Win 95 fix?
Any of the SP crew still out there?
Xie wrote on Electronic Punk's profile.
Impressed you have kept this alive this long EP! So many sites have come and gone. :(

Just did some crude math and I apparently joined almost 18yrs ago, how is that possible???
hello peeps... is been some time since i last came here.
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