This is an important movie that should be seen. Four stories from different cultures with common elements interweave throughout the film.
The first story revolves around two Moroccan boys who wind up shooting a wealthy American tourist while trying out his new rifle. The tourist is played by Cate Blanchett. Her husband is Brad Pitt. They are on a tour bus in the middle of nowhere when it happens. Blanchett is taken to the nearest village where she suffers while Pitt tries to get the US Embassy to help them out. The shooting is believed to be a terrorist attack, and the boys are hunted down.
Meanwhile, Pitt calls their Mexican immigrant housekeeper, who is watching their children at home. He informs her that she must stay with the children and miss her nephew's wedding. Torn, she agrees, and winds up shuttling the children across the Mexican border with disastrous consequences.
The rifle that was used to shoot Blanchett is connected to a Japanese businessman. His daughter Chieko is the subject of his story. She is deaf mute, and unable to voice the intense pain she suffers from her mother's death. Rinko Kikuchi plays Chieko. She does an amazing job, and it is obvious to see why she was nominated for an Academy Award. Her story is so moving, it is almost painful to watch.
Babel reminded me of Crash in the way it compared struggles across cultures and backgrounds. All of the characters are similar in their pain and misunderstanding of each other. For some it results in pain and anguish. For others, there is resolution and understanding.
I loved this film because of how well it portrayed the emotions of the characters. There is intense tragedy in each of their lives, and it is that element that connects them. There is no understanding that unites them. They do not even meet. But to the audience, it is as if they do.
It is a complex movie, but I found myself glued to the screen until the end. I highly recommend it.