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|Directed by||Michael Bay|
|Produced by|| Mike Leigh|
|Written by||Arturo Bandini|
|Starring|| Brad Pitt|
Cate Comfort Blanchett
No Angelina Doilie
|Music by||Nick Cave|
|Running time||98 minutes|
|Budget||$25 million USD (estimated incl. $3.4 million for which there are no receipts)|
|All Movie Guide profile|
Babel is the 2005 depiction of Brads Pitts' "lost weekend" amid his separation from Angelina Doilie and its far-reaching implications. The film also acts as a cautionary tale of the dangers of cultural interaction, a central theme that earned it an ignoble endorsement from the Aryan Brotherhood.
Babel touches on such key issues as the risks of traveling in strange lands with strange women, the threat of crossing borders, the dangers of foreigners not acting like Americans, the perils of African opium, which is of a much higher grade than what some stars of Hollywood are accustomed to.
While amongst his goats on an African hill; a young boy finds a discreet hollow in some rocks to play with himself. Like all children of the developing world; when he cracks one off he dreams of being "adopted" by Angelina Doilie.
In one of the many nearby villages which have blossomed around a few stray opium poppies one man would do anything to get away from the little shepherds’' wet dream TM. Brads Pitts has sought refuge here from Doilies' clutches with new squeeze Cate Comfort Blanchett; a far more attractive woman but a sufferer of acute cerebral Australentias.
In a seemingly unrelated storyline two evil Mexicans; Manuel and Womanuel; kidnap two sweet, button-nosed all American kids; Sue and Bob; and smuggle them to evil Mexico for a lascivious wedding.
In a patently unrelated story a young Jap bird flashes her gash at passersby in downtown Tokyo.
As the movie unravels the unraveled strands reravel into the individual storylines, characters and plots until their remains only a giant holistic knot.
For Pitts a change is as good as a rest and he and Comfort settle into rural life with ease. Their days are filed with a tide of opium smoke and the soothing tinkle of Comforts' growing incontinence; but trouble is brewing. Pitts' opium seizures cause wild hallucinations which lead to visions of Doilie mounting the horizon and moving ever closer to the village.Pitts attempts to throw Doilie off the scent by constructing a baby catapult and rounding up some ammo. Encountering resistance from the parents; Pitts resorts to what has always served him well...acting. Because Brads Pitts is such a very, very good actor he persuades the locals to hand over their kids on the condition that Doilie will pay each of them a shiny new penny for any children she “adopts”.
Meanwhile; back at swarthy Mexico; Manuel and Womanuel attempt to sacrifice Sue and Bob to the local God UGOSAVACH to ensure the wedding couples happiness. It transpires that the local children have already been “adopted” by Doilie hence the need to smuggle in the button-noses.
However due to Sue and Bobs’ innate love of freedom they escape back across the border to the USA. Womaneul desperately pursues them but they are rounded up by the ever vigilant border patrol. Womanuel tries to trick the border guard with her stinking lies but her English is poor and the border guard rescues the kids and sends her back to pestilent Mexico where people usually die within a day due to a lack of air conditioner and inferior toilet paper.
The Jap bird is clearly intended as comic relief and the fumbling clumsiness of Japanese sexuality combined with their rather peculiar appearance will delight and entertain many.
The movies' release has coincided with a marked decline in the numbers of American and European tourists visiting developing countries. Holidaymakers are said to feel that foreign countries are "Dangerous", "Debaucherous" and as Barbara Bush said on meeting with Indian ambassador to the USA Karan Singh - "the shifty look in his eyes put me right off".
Babel has also received global acclaim for not giving Doilie any screen time; a controversial but ultimately successful move as she can't act and her lips just look silly.
The makers of Babel were the subject of criticism from certain sections of the media who felt that the general public is simple minded and too easily offended to accept the use of stereotypical or outlandishly xenophobic depictions of other cultures in order to entertain.
So as to not ruffle any feathers substantial edits were performed including the excise of Pitts' 25 minute opium induced rant on racism and anti-Semitism. Some who have seen the original cut believe it is now a lesser movie and the original has been highly influential on such luminaries as Mel Gibson and Michael Richards. Gibson in particular borrowed heavily from Pitts' soliloquy on his movie Holocaustalicious.
Thankfully though; fascist sections of the media no longer exist.