Babel (2006) – Listen

In a desert in Morocco, two boys proudly held their new gun to escort the herds of cattle. Boubker Ait El Caid as Yussef and Said Tarchani as Ahmed, without them knowing, involved in a matter of complexity. They both show each other who is most worthy of holding the gun. They point to the target on a tour bus they seek. One time, Ahmed pointed the gun at the bus. Unexpectedly, the bus stop and people started shouting.

Adriana Barraza as Amelia is a nanny of Mexican descendants living in San Diego, United States. While babysitter the two boys of Brad Pitt as Richard and Cate Blanchett as Susan, he received a telephone call. The call asked him to immediately return to Mexico to be able to attend his son’s wedding tomorrow. The problem is, Richard was unable to return to America due to the incident in Morocco. Never finding a replacement, Amelia finally decided to take the two children desperately. They finally headed to Mexico by riding in their niece’s car, Gael García Bernal as Santiago.

Richard and Susan, on vacation in Morocco, trying to restore their unharmonious relationship after the death of their child. Richard tried to convince Susan of his actions in the past when she never forgive him. Their coldness relationship ended with a tragedy. Threatened Susan’s life due to the actions of the two boys who challenged each other the rifle. Susan’s shoulder then wounded by an unknown bullet.

Rinko Kikuchi as Chieko Wataya is a Japanese girl competing in volleyball. With his father’s concerned gaze, Kôji Yakusho as Yasujiro Wataya could only stroke his chest. Disappoint to his daughter’s feeling. Yasujiro is very careful in facing Chieko’s sensitive and rebellious characteristic. In addition, Chieko’s imperfections mute and deaf until the tragic death of her mother struck her psychologically. Chieko faced a maturity problem made her moody. Other matters including her ostracism among her friends made her even more devastated.

The world has a lot of cultural diversity but it’s inseparable from language, values, and aspects of reality. “Babel,” tells the story of four interconnected stories which connect the common thread. Then, distance and time separated the story. A difference in culture, tradition, social class and outlook on life is the main key by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The inability to communicate well isolated them with each other. Can’t understand the situation, the misunderstanding, and misinterpret a context. One point would unite them at a particular point. Then, be a misunderstanding from one country to another.

Of course, “Babel” as if watching four different films. Its transition between Morocco, Mexico, America, and Japan impressed like a movie filled with many plots. Besides, this is not a movie about racism or else. With a non-linear plot, this film explores how culture encourages each other. A disappointment, violence and anger, these cultures complement each other without any clear explanation. Therefore, there was a misconception between culture and state. When we are in people’s homes, there is a rule we must obey. So are all the characters in this film. They carry all cultural tropes into a stereotypical prejudice that is in our view.

Nor the American media, the U.S. border, the two Moroccan boys, the Japanese businessman, the American couple. There is no antagonist in this movie neither the protagonist. Each of the plots imprint each other and influence each other. Like for example the American who considers the attack in Morocco carried out by terrorists. In fact, everything doesn’t work in such a way. So is the relationship between the U.S. border and Susan. She thought hard about the child. She loved him as well as her family. Two Mexicans made a small mistake after Amelia’s nephew has been drinking for the whole time. On the other hand, the border guards do their small tasks correctly.

This is a well-directed and well-written movie by Iñárritu. One sentence could be sum up in everything. But, these characters try to understand and adapt to the environment of someone they don’t know. Culture, relationships, language, misunderstanding, and prejudice separated them. Like Pitt’s character who is trying to get help from people in Morocco. However, no one understood it. This is a reflection that often happens everywhere. It grinds us with its plot. It’s a movie about people in an unusual situation. A film full of silence, emotion, anger, and so smooth and full of culture.

“Babel” takes its theme as pride, arrogance, competition, selfishness, and the other side of humanity, subtle disposition of characters. The film was full of “characters” thanks to all actors and for non-English actors. If there is a film combines a variety of cultures and languages, I’ll always try it at any time. It’s not an English language that we need to understand, it’s our feeling to understand what they want to convey. Into their own language, not only those who feel wrong or even the black sheep. Initially confusing but flattering each other into a truly intact movie. Far from other specials.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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