Warning: A few spoilers follow. So I just got back from Babel, and I must say I was quite underwhelmed. Yes, it was dark, edgy and visually appealing. No, I would not recommend Babel to others. Yes, three separate stories were eventually intertwined in a somewhat meaningful way. No, I do not think Babel was one of the best movies of the year. Yes, everything (Brad Pitt included) was highly emotional. No, I do not think Babel is an award-winning movie. Yes, everyone speaking different languages does make communication a little difficult. No, difficult communication does not automatically make for a compelling movie.
There was something about Babel that just didn’t click with me. The three stories that intertwined to form the main story felt too separate, barely tied together in the end and missing the commonality that made Crash such a great movie. It was interesting to see how different countries handle difficult situations differently, but I really don’t think any new ground was broken there. I would hope that everyone knows if you’re going to be traveling around Morocco and happen to get shot in the middle of the desert, you probably aren’t going to receive the same medical treatment you’d be privileged to in the states. Each story was interesting, but not anything you wouldn’t expect. If you don’t have papers and you try and cross the border, it’s not going to work. If you’re deaf, life is going to be different and difficult. If you get shot in Morocco, medical help is going to be difficult to find. With a name like Babel, I expected language barriers to play a larger roll in the movie, but it was culture barriers that caused most of the difficulties. Everyone seemed to communicate pretty well actually, albeit a little slower than normal, but still, messages were exchanged and meaning was understood. What I don’t understand is why everyone seems to be raving about this movie. I give it a C-.