Film Review of "Babel" -- Spoiler Warning (however this movie was written spoiled)
-- An alternative view
Biblically, Genesis Chap 11 tells of the story of humans who sought to build the tower of Babel such that they could reach God. God then responds by confounding their speech and understanding of one another and spreading them all over the world. This is the Genesis account for the origin of religions and races.
If the movie "Babel" has anything to do with its biblical namesake, in this case, God makes all the people of the earth extremely stupid. First we start with a couple in marital trouble as a result of the recent death of one of their newborn, likely from SIDS. This brainy couple decides to take a trip to Morroco (without the remaining kids) to solve their problems: stupid.
Compounding this stupidity, a Morrocan father procures a rifle to help rid his flocks of jackals. He gives the rifle to his stupid young children who decide to test the efficacy of the weapon on passing tourist busses. On this bus is? Yup you guessed it, the stupid couple with marital troubles. Who gets shot? You guessed it, the wife from this couple. Now some would look upon this as an artistic study of cause and effect. I look on it more simply: Stupid people shooting at stupid people is simply natural selection at its finest.
But wait, one would think this expose of stupidity would suffice for a two hour and twenty minute film, but there are more stupid entaglements. The rifle was originally given to a local Morrocan by a Japanese hunter. This Japanese man recently had his wife commit suicide and he stupidly leaves his younger (deaf and mute) daughter alone for great spells of time such that she needs to compensate by seeking sex from any and every available male. In the films most unbelievable stroke, she fails on every attempt. I have the fortune of living in a male body and as such am qualified to inform you that this would never occur.
But wait again, there's still another stupid entaglement. The housekeeper of the stupid maritally challenged couple has a wedding to attend in Mexico. She was originally promised the day off, but upon hearing of the tragic string of events which happened to her stupid employers, she's informed that she won't be able to get that day off. What follows is a screenplay that could be accomplished by going to Taco Bell and using 8.5" x 11" stock as toilet paper to clean up.
She takes the kids, American citizens, into Mexico with her. The kids experience the cultural diversity of a Mexican wedding, at first seeming to enjoy it. Things go awry when stupid people allow a drunk driver to drive the kids and Nanny back to San Diego. The rest is just too hard to believe; first that it could actually happen and next that the screen writer wrote it. The driver is hassled at the border. He panics and runs the border with the police hot on his tail. He abandons the children and the Nanny in the desert with promises to return. (He was likely fleeing the scene of a crime in screen writing.) The Nanny and children are left to fend for themselves in the desert when he never returns. Eventually they are picked up by the border patrol and the children are returned unharmed, and the Nanny is deported. I am a critic of US Immigration Policy, however, not in this case.
In the end Babel is an example of Oscar seeking formulaic writing. The formula is simple: create an appearance of meaning, when, in fact, there is none. In so doing, you automatically embarass any critics of the film by allowing the argument that they are simply dullards who can't grasp the great meaning of the film. The truth is far more simple in this case: Stupid people understand stupid people very well and are able to write a painful two hour and twenty minute discertation on the interactions of stupidity.