D.R.: ‘Babel’ as literature | VailDaily.com

D.R.: ‘Babel’ as literature

Don Rogers
Vail CO, Colorado

Finally saw “Babel.” The college kid rented the DVD, said he figured Dad would get into the interwoven stories, which were too tragic and one too violent for Mom’s tastes.

Frankly, nothing about the ads or trailers or even Academy Award nomination for best picture attracted me to the film. I’m an adventure slut ” outer space, westerns, outer space done as a western, spy stuff, fantasy, war, thriller, sci-fi thriller, sports, some comedy, and even some chick flicks when forced at near gunpoint. The funny ones, not the complicated, mirthless junk.

I liked “Babel.” “Liked” might not be the best word, though. More the story gripped me, the tension held and I appreciated the way the story was told through time. That is, it didn’t follow time’s relentless arrow. There were just enough connecting moments to piece the story together, and not too many to ruin it.

I most appreciated the endings and how I imagined they fit the cultures. The American part of the story ended happily, tied nicely in a bow. The Mexican story ended sadly, but with a son consoling his beloved mother. The Arab story ended horribly tragically, hope crushed. And the Japanese story was just flat weird, inscrutable.

The acting was great all around. The weaving of stories was a little clunky, but OK. The tension held nicely throughout, with the story staying hard to predict nearly all the way.

And I’m still thinking about the stories and imagining how they play out past the movie. That’s the test of a great book. So the brush with literature was fantastic. Not mere babble, like so much that’s out there.

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