Reviewed by: Rev. Grant Wright
|2 hr. 23 min.
|Year of Release:
November 10, 2006 (after initial select release October 27, 2006—NYC, LA)
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
The Origin of bad—How did bad things come about? Answer
What kind of world would you create? Answer
ORIGIN OF ETHNIC PEOPLE GROUPS—Where did different ethnicities come from? Answer
Nudity—Why are humans supposed to wear clothes? Answer
What does the name “Babel” refer to? Answer
|Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barraza, Gael Garcia Bernal, Paul Terrell Clayton, Koji Yakusho, Elle Fanning
Alejandro González Iñárritu
|Steve Golin, Jon Kilik, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
“If you want to be understood… listen”
“Babel” is a tough to watch, unflinching film about isolation. Just like their previous films AMORES PERROS (2000) and 21 GRAMS (2003) screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga and director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu have woven together disparate stories to produce an unnerving tale of consequence. The premise for the movie is how God confused the languages; in turn it is this confusion that drives the isolationism throughout the 143 minutes of run time.
In Morocco Richard (Brad Pitt) and Susan (Cate Blanchett) are vacationing to try and escape recent tragedy, but are finding the poor conditions more of a tension builder than a reprieve. It is while on their tourist bus that some boys on a distant hill shoot, to test their Dad’s new rifle, and the bullet finds its way to Susan. This begins a roller coaster ride of survival, emotions, isolationism and political turmoil, not only for Richard and Susan but for Yusef and Ahmed, the boys involved in the shooting.
Meanwhile, in the U.S. the nanny looking after Richard and Susan’s children has to attend her son’s wedding in Mexico. This is a problem because she has not been able to offload the kids to anyone. So she takes them with her, causing problems that will affect the rest of her life. In Tokyo, a hormonally invigorated deaf mute girl rebels against her father and what is deemed appropriate in her culture.
The essence of the whole story is they are all somehow connected, which I believe to be the writer/director’s point. We are all connected through degrees of separation that influence our destiny. We are basically all in the same boat. I cannot help but feel this film is a little politically motivated against the United States with such subjects as inflated terrorism and over-sensitive border security. Nevertheless, this is one negative film that forces fatalism a little too hard.
This is an offensive movie to a Christian with inappropriate language, heavy nudity, an incestuous situation and a short masturbation scene. Apart from the offensive material, the story has little hope and focuses on the morbid.
As Christians we need to live with the joy of our salvation so that the lost can see our hope. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you.” We may come on desperate times, but our hope should not fade and we can always turn to the Lord to guide and direct us. Some might even blame God for the problems in this film; after all He created the confusion of languages. However, we need to recognize our sin, as it was our disobedience that resulted in the curse of different languages being created at Babel.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.