What is the movie Babel about?
- DavidLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
The broad theme is modern disconnection. How people can misinterpret or fail to understand other people and other cultures, and how this can have dangerous results.
The film itself has several interconnected stories. Here's the plot as described by New York Times critic A. O. Scott:
"The most glamorous cast members are Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, who play an American couple on a desultory vacation in Morocco, trying to repair the damage done to their marriage by the death of their infant son. Their movie-star charisma is turned down to a low, flickering flame, and the easy sense of entitlement they sometimes betray belongs naturally to their characters, Susan and Richard, who nonetheless receive a brutal reminder that even the privileged are vulnerable to accident.
Susan — the kind of tourist who worries that the local ice cubes carry disease — is badly wounded when a bullet is fired through a bus window, hitting her in the neck. The bullet comes from a gun belonging to Abdullah (Mustapha Rachidi), a goatherd, and used by his two sons, Ahmed (Said Tarchani) and Yussef (Boubker Ait El Caid), to keep jackals away from the herd.
The gunmen and their victim are never in the frame together, and the consequences of the incident unfold in parallel crises. Susan and Richard wind up in a small town, waiting for an ambulance, facing the panic and impatience of their fellow holiday makers and relying on the kindness of strangers. Abdullah and his sons and neighbors, for their part, must deal with the harsh attentions of the Moroccan police, who are trying to defuse what threatens to become an international incident.
Meanwhile — or, rather, a short time later, since the overlapping and sequential chapters of the movie are presented as if they were happening simultaneously — Richard and Susan’s surviving children (Elle Fanning and Nathan Gamble) travel to Mexico with the family’s housekeeper, Amelia (Adriana Barraza), whose son is getting married near Tijuana. They are accompanied by Amelia’s roughneck nephew Santiago (Gael García Bernal, who clearly relishes playing the heavy for once).
And in Tokyo, a deaf teenage girl named Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi) spins through the emotional upheavals of adolescence, which are intensified both by her disability — or, more precisely, the obtuse way other people respond to it — and by the aftershocks of her mother’s death.
Chieko’s brazen attempts to solicit attention result, again and again, in humiliation, and Ms. Kikuchi’s performance is an unnerving blend of sexual provocation, timidity and sheer rage."