Heavily theme-oriented movies tend to be problematic. Either they focus too much on the theme at the expense of plot and character or they develop the film well but fail to really delve into the theme. Babel, fortunately, manages to do both very nicely. The central idea of the film is human communication--or, more accurately, miscommunication--and what really impressed me about the movie was how when I thought back over it, nearly every single interaction between any of the characters involved miscommunication in some way. But rather than getting lost in mere ideas, the writer managed to construct a very compelling set of intertwining storylines, which were brought to life by some very skillful performances. My one complaint would be Brad Pitt. Not to say he did a bad job, it's just that I don't understand why they would pick such an iconically young and virile actor for a role and then age him with makeup. For one thing, there are plenty of older-looking actors out there who could have carried off the role as well or better, and, for another, there didn't seem to be any particular reason for his character to look old. It's a pretty minor criticism, though, and I'd definitely recommend this one.

Viewed: 2/8/2007 | Released: 10/26/2006 | Score: A

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