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Monday, March 19, 2007

DVD Watch: Babel

We first heard about Babel from some friends as it was getting the Oscar buzz. And anyone who saw the Oscars at least has a rudimentary understanding of the film - it's a sweeping drama that intersects the lives of families from San Diego to Tokyo (at least I assume it's Tokyo). The movie opens on the lives of goat farmers in Morocco.

One of our friends described it as "international version of Crash" ... and that's a pretty honest way to put it. The film's purpose is to show that lives aren't that much different or separate as we'd like to think - even with continents dividing us.

So if you didn't like Crash, you'd probably hate Babel.

In general, I have to recommend it. It's very well directed with actors giving a truly diverse and powerful performance. The filmmakers went to great lengths for accuracy - getting native actors to speak in their native tongue. The plot is pretty good, if not slow and predictable at parts. Occasionally a character does something stupid enough to push the limits of belief - but in general you're just watching normal people deal with circumstances only partially in their control.

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