A great film which is visually stunning and should be even better in Blu-ray.
Around a tenner at many other places.
Babel is the crowning achievement in the trilogy from the unstoppable creative pairing of screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga and director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, which also includes Amores Perros and 21 Grams. High up in the Moroccan mountains, two young boys--the sons of a local herdsman--are randomly test-firing a rifle their father has entrusted them with. As they take aim at a vehicle in the distance, they are blissfully unaware of the chain of events they will set into motion as one of the brothers pulls the trigger. Moments earlier, Richard and Susan (Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett)--a wealthy couple from San Diego--are seen travelling across the desert when their coach is shot at and Susan is badly injured. Distraught and panic-stricken, Richard calls home to inform their Mexican maid Amelia (Adriana Barraza) of the situation and to ask her to look after their two children. However, this couldnt have come at a worse time for Amelia, who is expected at her sons wedding in Mexico that same day. Torn between her responsibilities to her employers and her familial obligations, she decides to attend the wedding with Richard and Susans children in tow. But disaster strikes when she is stopped at the border control, suspected of smuggling illegal immigrants into America. Meanwhile, the shooting in Morocco has escalated into an international incident, with the media crying terrorism. Half way around the world in Tokyo, another story is unfolding, this time involving the original owner of the rifle (Koji Yakusho) and his rebellious deaf daughter (Rinko Kikuchi). Building upon its predecessors method of weaving together disparate storylines, Babel reaches new heights of ambition with a tale that, in the absence of traditional narrative and protagonist, relies on numerous incredible performances to evoke an affecting relevance by framing contemporary issues in very human struggles and mistakes. The result is an intimate, emotional experience that would approach melodrama were it not rendered so realistically. Cinematographer Rodrigo Prietos colour palette masterfully captures the muted tones of the harsh natural landscapes of Morocco and the Mexican border, as well as the fluorescent lights of Tokyo that denote another, equally barren, end of the spectrum. The misunderstandings born of cultural, language, and class barriers are on par with those that occur between family members, depicting a world that, while connected in the least expected of ways, is also faced with a deep-seated crisis that threatens to alienate humanity from itself.