Babel | Chicago Reader

Babel

Unlike many colleagues, I'm not a fan of Amores Perros or 21 Grams, scripted by Guillermo Arriaga and directed by Alejandro Gonzalez IƱarritu. This conclusion to their trilogy is easier to follow as a narrative, but it's even more pretentious, generalizing about the state of the modern world as it focuses on Moroccan peasants, American tourists (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett), their kids and Mexican servant in California, a single father in Tokyo (Koji Yakusho), and his crazed deaf-mute daughter. The filmmakers don't seem to understand or care much about many of these people, but they use them to unload ideas about violence, communication, and tribal misunderstandings—trading on suffering as they aim for cosmic wisdom. In English and subtitled Arabic, Berber, Japanese, and Spanish. R, 142 min.

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