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Babel  (2006)

IMDB Rating 7.5/10  143 min - Rated 15 Drama

Stars:            Brad Pitt,  Cate Blanchett,  Gael Garcia Bernal Director:      Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Babel is one of the most intelligent and artfully made films of 2006. The film has two central themes - culture and communication. It also exposes the connections between these themes in the arenas of politics, religion and geography sensitively and intelligently. The tag-line, though intentionally obtuse, sums the film up well - "If you want to be understood... Listen" - The parable is designed to speak to people all over the world who seem to believe that the meaning and importance of political boundaries somehow supersedes the value of humanity.  The film brilliantly weaves four deeply interconnected stories engaging five cultures on three continents. The cultures are North American, Mexican, Islamic, Japanese and Japanese/deaf. At the heart of each tragedy is an inability to communicate. The tragedies begin with bad decisions that spin each plot somewhat out of control once cultural interference and miscommunication kick in.  The performances are, all around, excellent. The directing is exquisite - perfectly paced and visualized. This is a great film which, despite its commercial pedigree and big budget, achieves a rare level of artistry - proving that blockbusters do not have to be sold short. Babel will make you think, and think well. Make sure you bring your attention span and brain, however.