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Posts Tagged ‘Gael Garcia Bernal’

I find that many films which are described as ‘powerful’ can be quite disappointing, but Babel most certainly is a powerful film, which doesn’t let the viewer down one iota.

The plot is about four sets of people whose stories are intertwined, although it does not become clear exactly how they are intertwined until the film is well underway.

Two young Moroccan brothers being careless with a rifle recently purchased by their father, shoot a bus full of tourists, injuring Susan Jones (Cate Blanchett).  Susan and her husband Richard (Brad Pitt) are on holiday, trying to repair their marital difficulties – the reasons for which become clear throughout the movie.  Meanwhile, their children’s nanny, Amelia, is unable to get a day off work to attend her son’s wedding in Mexico, and so decides to take the children with her over the border.  The fourth strand of the plot centres around a young deaf Japanese girl named Chieko, who is still grieving after the recent death of her mother.  Chieko’s behaviour is rebellious and outrageous.  Her connection to the other characters is somewhat tenuous and is revealed fairly near to the end of the movie.

This is the second film I have watched by director Alejandro González Iñárritu; the first one was 21 Grams, which I absolutely loved (on balance, I probably preferred that movie, but it’s a tough call between the two).  I certainly would like to watch more of his work.

There are fine performances all round in this film – Gael Garcia Bernal in particular is excellent as Amelia’s nephew Santiago.  It’s a small role, but Bernal is mindblowingly good in it.  Brad Pitt – an actor who I think is generally very over-rated – is also perfect as Richard Jones.  Rinko Kikuchi also shines as the troubled Chieko; she brings rebellion and sorrow in equal parts, and it is impossible for the viewer not to feel for her.

In short, this is a wonderful film – very highly recommended.

Year of release: 2006

Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Writers: Guillermo Arriaga, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Main cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, Rinko Kikuchi

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