Head to Head – Babel

Welcome to the second edition of our newly revamped Head to Head feature, in which our Quickflix critics take on our readers in a rip-snorting battle to the death! You pick the film, and we pick the fight!
This week we received a gushing review of Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s film Babel from Nichole Overall. For her troubles, she received 2 tickets to Red Cliff. If you would also like to win free movie tickets, send your controversial mini-reviews to us here!

Nichole will argue FOR the film, while enigmatic Quickflix critic DVDman will argue AGAINST it. Let us know in the comments section below who you agree with. Spare no vitriol! Choose your side! There can only be one winner!

Nichole Overall – 5/5

It is a story that hinges on a single item and that item’s dramatic connection to the lives of a diverse group of individuals; each dealing with the universal experiences of loss and isolation. The movie artfully highlights the confusion and disconnection affecting contemporary society. It is a modern-day parable that subtly demonstrates how even when we speak the same language we often don’t understand one another. Despite the fear, tragedy and even self-absorption of the characters, in the end what shines through is a connectedness that can occur even in the most unlikely of scenarios. The common link is that we all love and fear losing that which we love and yet, it is an inevitable part of life that at some stage we all face. The director’s cleverness is to here show that our humanity is determined not by our losses but by our reactions to them.

DVDman – 2/5

Sadly, a stellar cast and some credible acting performances don’t make a good movie. In what should have been a brilliant follow-up to the brilliant Amores Perros and 21 Grams, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu missed the mark with this slow moving and disjunctive piece. I really wanted to like it, and I did…. for about an hour and a half, then I got bored. The storylines that were supposed to connect the characters to each other, and us to the characters, weren’t strong enough. Rinko Kikuchi got an Oscar nomination for her role, but I found her far more weird than interesting, while Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett were surprisingly dull, and it seems that perhaps Innaritu was more concerned with the globalism of the movie (filmed over several continents and in several languages) than actual global appeal. This film tried to be noble, tried to depict the connection between people who are seemingly unconnected, tried to illustrate the frailties and foibles of human nature in the same way Soderbergh did in Traffic, or Altman did in so many movies, but it didn’t get a shot away. To me, this was custom built for Oscar season and after picking up one (for Original Score) I’m not sure it achieved as much as it should (could) have.

Now it’s over to you. Do you agree with Nichole or DVDman? Let us know in the comments section below. And if you would like to be featured in the next Head to Head, and possibly win some free movie tickets, send your mini-reviews to us here at Quickflix!

3 Responses to “Head to Head – Babel”

  1. When I watched "Babel", I thought that the most interesting story was not shown. What happened to the Pitt/Blanchett couple after they returned home? They acted well but it's easy for us to feel sorry for people who are innocent victims and distressed. But at the start of the film, we sense that their relationship is in trouble. So what effect does the trauma have on that? But we don't get to see it. Also, the so-called "globalism" of the film is tokenistic.

  2. Boo Babel – what a load of hyped up nonsnse. What happened to the children? In the end I didn't care a jot for any of them, especially the girl who kept taking her clothes off (for what?) Cate & Brad's talents were wasted. A much better movie of the same genre is Crash.

  3. A multi-layered masterpiece of film making exploring the desparate plight of humans in a disparate collage of four stories involving four lives from the four corners of the globe. The complex jig saw unfolds but the final picture when the jig saw is complete is disappointing. Normally, the culmination of the ripple effect is to build a wave and produce a tsunami. The movie starts with hope and ends with desparation. Perhaps, it is saying something quite philosophical about the meaning of life. While universally there is some degree of control and connection, our individual lives are about our choices and responses to apparent random acts.From our individual perspective, we never see or know the big picture and how it all connects – and what it means? Perhaps, that is the point – there's no meaning.It is a great work of cinematography. My disappointment was the usual question of intent and purpose – an overly simple ending that did not explain the foregoing complexity.

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