Following the sprawling, interconnected sagas Amores Perros and 21 Grams, director Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu's new film Babel is a similarly-structured story with a much broader scope. In Morocco, vacationing husband and wife Richard (Brad Pitt) and Susan (Cate Blanchett) are realizing they also brought along all their troubles and resentments. Up in the hills, a group of children idly experiment with a new rifle to see if it's any good, idly pointing it at rocks and trees or any object in the distance ... including a bus full of tourists. Sitting on the bus, a small flat sound is heard as Susan slumps in her seat, and Richard finds his wife's clothes showing crimson blood as he pleads for someone, anyone to help. ...

Babel cuts between Richard's frustrating attempts to get some kind of help for Susan in a foreign and confusing land and the shocked realization of the local boys that their idle curiosity has had tragic ramifications; Iñárritu's script also introduces us to Amelia (Adrianna Bazarra), the nanny to Richard and Susan's son and daughter, who has to reconcile her sudden increased responsibility with her plans to accompany her nephew Santiago (Gael Garcia Bernal) to a wedding in Mexico. At the same time, we meet troubled teen Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi), a deaf woman living with her father Yasujiro (Koji Yakusho) whose isolation and grief at her mother's passing are causing her to act out sexually in a desperate attempt to connect in any way. Chieko and Yasujiro's connection to Richard and Susan isn't readily apparent, but it is real.
categories Reviews, Cinematical