Alexandru Inarritu - the king of multiple story threads, all with connecting elements which will be revealed as the story progresses, is the director of this trans-continental cinematic odyseey. His second foray in to Hollywood as a full length feature director sees him paired with his favorite writer and literary twin, Guillermo Arriaga. All Arriaga's screenplays are written for the movies, has a one of a kind feel and is assured to give the audience the edge-of-the-seat anticipation with events that happen to real people. Inarritu and Arriaga had a fall-out after Babel was released and the director banned the writer from attending the film's screening at Cannes, that's another story.
The events in Babel take place in three continents and four nations - Morocco, the USA, Mexico and Japan. With an ensemble cast that includes Brad Pitt, Gael Garcia Bernal, Cate Blanchett, Adrianna Barraza(nominated for Oscar for her role in this movie) and Rinko Kikuchi, Babel got seven Oscar nominations in 2007, although only one materialized in to the coveted bronze statue - Best Original Score.
Like Inarritu's Amores Perros and 21 Grams - the other two his Death trilogy, Babel is driven forward by the tension experienced by the viewer just as it'd be if the viewer had faced the situation in real life. Unlike the other two, Babel is more topical. It touches more contemporary issues like the US governement's definition of terrorism and how it affects the rest of the world, illegal immigrants from across the Mexian border and shows a side of Morocco most Americans would never see. The two young Moroccan boys who plays goat-herds in one of the stories have shown exceptional acting skills, so has Adrianna Barrazza, the Mexican actress.
Although the film is peppered with brilliant pieces of direction, cinematography and acting, one that I'll mention here is the Rinko Kikuchi's drug induced evening at the park and discotheque. If you plan to stay away from hallucinatory drugs or has never taken any ever, this sequence is a must-see, it is the next best thing.
As the lyrics from Mike and the Mechanics song, 'The Living Years' goes, "You say you just dont see it, He says its perfect sense, You just cant get agreement, In this present tense, We all talk a different language, Talking in defence....." all of us are right in the light of our plights and many a time, all of us are wrong. That is the premise of Babel.