Netflix February 2017_day.11 – Babel (2006)

_When we think of the world, our first thought is to assume that we are right. I think to myself “From what I know, from what I have observed in life, the world is like this. I am correct. Other people don’t think this because they are missing the critical information and insight that I have.” These are thoughts that have gone through my mind at one point. As time has gone on, however, something…changed. That’s how younger me used to think. I assume that is how most people think throughout most of their lives. But somewhere along the line, self-loathing took me over. I don’t think that anymore. I think the world works in ways based on the information and insight I have, but after I finish thinking that, I say to myself “…that’s probably wrong. Everybody else probably has it more figured out than I do.”

It’s a shitty way to think. I recognize this. I haven’t been able to stop it. I don’t recommend it.

People from different corners of the globe make random — and dangerous — impressions on each other’s lives.

Check it out, Bible references. It’s Babel.

_I wasn’t really familiar with Alajandro Iñárritu, then overnight it seemed like “Bam! Birdman. Bam bam! Revenant.” Next thing you know, he’s getting buried in Oscars. I actually didn’t know he directed this when I chose it today. I scrolled over it, saw the name and went “…that’s familiar, lemme go…check…ah, hey, yes, that’s why. I did recognize that name”

_So, I love it when things have complex stories, with seemingly disparate plot lines that will all eventually come together to weave a one big  narrative. But I’ll admit, they have a problem at the start. It’s hard to have all of this stuff happening at once, with little of it connecting in any discernible way. You just have to go “Yes, I accept that I do not know how any of this connects and that I won’t know for a while. I’ll just try to keep everything straight in my head while it happens.”

And there’s always a way these kinds of plots work, no matter what medium it’s in. You what what I just described at the beginning, then after a bit, you see how most of it is connected. The different stories might not actually intersect, but you see that this character is connected to this one, and something this character did affected these characters. You see how the threads go together…except for this one…dangling plot…over here…that…goes on about its business…seemingly disparate from everything else…for way longer than it took the rest of the plots and characters to come together.

In Babel, that’s the Japan story. For more than an hour, we have no idea what a deaf teenage girl flashing her snatch at boys has to do with anything. I mean, that specific thing has nothing to do with anything else, it’s just character development. It shows how rebellious she is. Damn sex crazed teens.

_The moral of Babel: if you have a bad idea, don’t do it. Because it’s a bad idea. Don’t shoot at cars on the street. Don’t take other people’s kids into Mexico. Don’t try to fuck everybody. Don’t go to Morocco. Well…you’re actually probably fine going to Morocco. That one wasn’t really on them. But don’t get shot. That’s a terrible idea. Getting shot is a terrible idea.

_In the end, though, the movie isn’t really about how everything weaves together. It’s basically 4 stories of people going through rough shit, and the writers tied them together to form some kind of narrative reason to have 4 stories sharing emotional beats into the same movie. That emotional beat is gut wrenching misery. It’s well done, but it’s kind of a bummer.

_Put on your Sunday clothes, tomorrow we’re watching Hello, Dolly! See you then~


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