Are you tough enough? This thing is a nerve-wracking workout! If you aren't worried about two tween-age boys in Afghanistan, you are trying to figure out if that deaf-mute Japanese girl is going to kill herself. The American woman may have been shot by mistake, but she is at death's door just the same. How drunk is that young Mexican man and why is he so edgy at the border? Will the passengers in the bus talk the driver into abandoning the American couple?

"Babel" is called that because it is a polyglot movie -- many tongues, and many wildly different stories -- but ultimately they all converge, even though you can't see how they might when you first step onto this runaway train!

Excellent performances:
  • Brad Pitt ("Troy" and "A River Runs Through It"),
  • Cate Blanchett ("Notes on a Scandal" and "Bandits"),
  • Koji Yakusho ("Shall We Dance?"),
  • and about ten more international actors, none of whom we recognize... more's the pity!
A lot of the dialog was in other tongues, so THOSE speeches I was able to "get" (captions), while much of the spoken English dialog went by the wayside, too much mumbling and too many ambient noises on the soundtrack. Aarghhh!

A couple of warnings...this is extra long, so don't drink too much liquid before you go in, because there is NO break in the unrelenting pace, in which you can make a pit stop! This movie is stressful, to say the least! This is like a high-octane, international version of "Crash." In other words, it is an excellent script, with many converging stories... some of them heartbreaking. The movie is loaded with people for whom you can cheer, and that's a GOOD thing. There aren't any out and out villains, only circumstances, misunderstandings, and lack of communication. (Hence the name...duh!) In my opinion though, the Japanese nightclub scene went on, far longer than necessary, because a throbbing techno music scene is boring to me, no matter where it is. (I had to include at least one gripe, didn't I?)

This might be easier to take on the small screen, but you know yourselves better than I. Not much "blowie uppie stuff," though...