Babel

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Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are vacationing in Morocco when she is shot accidentally by two boys. Their Mexican nanny back home is trying to get to her son’s wedding when this happens so she tries to take their two kids across the border illegally. And somehow a Japanese teen dealing with her father being wanted by the Tokyo police is related to these stories.

The “big” story would be the one involving Cate Blanchett’s character getting shot from a stray bullet and Brad Pitt trying to get her help in Morocco where he has difficulty communicating with people in a strange land. There is the point made that the Americans try to spin the story that it is a terrorist act against American tourists, which it isn’t, but there isn’t much time spent on that angle. There was so much of this story spent with Brad Pitt fretting over help getting to his wife in the middle of the nowhere while Cate Blanchett slowly bleeds in a remote village. Their story is pretty boring.

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She was shot by two boys who were given a gun by their father in order to shoot coyotes, which would save their sheep herd from being killed and give them something to eat at the same time. While he is off at work, the boys play with the gun, miss while shooting at some coyotes and then decide to take aim at a tourist bus on the road a couple miles away. They are shocked when they hit it. Their story is more interesting while the police try to find who is the owner of the gun and their ending is very sad.

A third story is about the kids of Brad and Cate who are being watched by their Mexican nanny. When the wife gets shot, the sister is supposed to come watch the kids so the nanny can go to her son’s wedding in Mexico. Something happens with the sister not showing up and Brad’s character just yells at his nanny to watch the kids. Why do they not have anyone else to watch their kids? No friends? Why couldn’t the sister show up? She tries to find other people to watch the kids, and ends up taking them across the border with her to the wedding. When trying to get back across the border very late at night, the nanny’s nephew who has been drinking starts giving the border patrol a hard time. Next thing you know, they are both in trouble for having a couple of white kids with them across the border.

There is a final story about a deaf and mute Japanese girl who is dealing with the death of her mother, but not in very productive ways. She acts out sexually and inappropriately. Her story was the most interesting, even though how it was tied into the other three stories is so loosely tied, I have no idea why it was in this movie. It could have been one on its own.

I get that the entire point of the movie is about how language barriers affect how we treat each other, and it isn’t always very nicely, but I think there were too many storylines going on. I could keep track of what was going on, but they weren’t all interesting enough to be involved in the movie. It was all spread too thin with a lack of focus.

Rating: B-

velveetahead

Created this site in 2002. Pop culture and entertainment lover for much longer-- tv, movies, music, books, cowbells, and armadillos.

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