The simplest ideas can sometimes be delivered in simple manners.

Six families, four countries and numerous links to tie them all together form this seemingly complicated film by Alejandro González Iñárritu, whose previous film, 21 Grams, was also a series of subtly-related events. Unlike 21 Grams, Babel has a much more pleasant ending, a less daunting theme, and, to its advantage, a much simpler delivery.

The age-old topic of communication (or lack of it) is overdone to the point where it’s almost become a cliche. The film takes this and goes back to the basics, depicting many different characters in different places under completely different circumstances, all suffering from some form of miscommunication. From married couples to lying children, language barriers and finally, an actual deaf and mute, the film covers most ground, at least on the surface. It is a straightforward film, with a theme anyone can understand. What good would a film about communication be if it cannot make the audience understand?

The film’s closing presents us with a satisfying, happy ending. It is accessible, engaging, thought-provoking, personal and emotional. And those are the keys to understanding.


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