Today is

   "A word to the wise ain't necessary --  
          it's the stupid ones that need the advice."
					-Bill Cosby

Friday, April 13, 2007

Babble about "Babel"

[Warning, spoilers for those of you contemplating devoting two hours of your life to this film]

I just saw "Babel" last night, and I must say I don't think it deserved all the hype. I didn't find the characters portrayed by Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett at all sympathetic. What kind of narcissistic monsters go abroad and leave their kids in the sole care of a housekeeper, much less a housekeeper who needs to get away to attend her son's wedding? The mishap they encounter is plausible I suppose but a bit preposterous and extreme, I don't think it teaches us much about intercultural encounters or the "global village" or etc. I spent many years travelling, living, and working overseas. I encountered many people who were kind and generous and nurturing to me, and it didn't take anyone shooting me in the neck to make it happen. The freakishness of the couple's encounter is compounded by the bizarre experience of their poor kids- this family is under some kind of curse that kicks in whenever they cross an international boundary. I mean really, is the lesson we are supposed to take away from this film- "Americans, stay home, bad things will happen to you if you leave the US?" Not a heart-warming message for our times.


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