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Soemtimes it’s nice to enter a movie theater with a really bad opinion about what’s going to be screened. "Babel" may be the Oscar candidate with the worst reviews ever, and the points made by the reviewers sounded rather convinving, pointing at the arbitrariness with which the plot lines are linked, at the all too suffering presence of some of the ill-fated characters in the various components. It is easy to imagine a suffering-looking Cate Blanchett in the arms of suffering and grey-haired Brad Pitt, with a very suffering Mexican hardass getting on the nerves of his family (and just about killing them) in the parallel plot. Veritable Oscar material, filmed in hectic and semi-dogma camera movements. Not really much happening at the end of the day, so a car chase needs to be included to keep things going after more than 2 hours. And the reason why I so far forgot to mention the Japanese girl is because she has nothing to do with the rest of the film. Ah, formally, yes, but noone cares, and if this had just been the short film to open the main feature, everyone would have said "the short was great, the feature a bit tenecious.

That said, I need to mention that – I liked Babel. I did not like the pace and the rather ill-timed editing, the uneccesary length that owes a lot to the lack of a decent script-writer, I suppose. But still, the events and the characters little adventures or states of mind caused by the events are powerful (actually, in Japan there is not even an event, there is just a pile of desperation). Innaritu knows how to get people into trouble, and – as in 21 Grams – he is generous in allocating ill fate. All the actors are rather credible in showing their temporary or permanent lack of positive spirit – and maye the boredom that creeps into the film’s last 20 minutes has to do with the realisation that other people’s suffering, while torturing for them, can be perfectly well endured when you yourself are not affected. So with a positive attitude to this exercise in negativism: well messed-up!

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