The two-fold message of Babel, a film by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, is human frailty and interconnectedness of lives. Most individuals tend to think that their actions are inconsequential, and often take people like family -- along with other good things happening to them -- for granted. In the least expected ways, people’s lives are intertwined. Usually, though, as a culture communicates itself to others, barriers arise, impeding a real connection.
The film likewise depicts that there are times when people behave irrationally, which may be part of human nature, and there will always be a point in time when people will experience Murphy’s Law, commonly understood as `Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way. ’ In such instances, people may be weighed down by misfortunes or tragedy, but in those instances, there are those who cling to each other for support.
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Notwithstanding the trauma, individuals made up of sterner stuff rise to the challenge. Most people, in the end, also own up to their mistakes and take responsibility for their actions as well as for their closest of kin or alliances. Human beings are not infallible, and may sometimes have little control over circumstances unfolding in their lives.
Just as the Biblical meaning of the film’s title connotes (the Tower of Babel is referred to as a grandiose structure built by Noah’s descendants for their own glory, but divine intervention muddled up their tongue and they failed to understand one another's speech, and ended up scattered across lands), Babel, the movie, features four interlocking stories where the characters experience some communicative barrier along with a sense of alienation from the rest of humanity, and are pushed to the edge.
Every obstacle that the characters encounter, however, is presented as an opportunity to improve on the human condition. As such, Babel showcases how the human spirit can prevail over critical challenges or life-changing hurdles. Hope as a universal thing is clearly expressed. On the other hand, chaos as a constant element in the world is also highlighted. The presence of a gun throughout the movie’s main plot and subplots shows how a shot can create a ripple effect, trigger untold pain, and change the lives of its victims forever.
It appears more like a symbolism of how guns can be misused. As each of the movie’s central characters embark on a journey of scars -- in a remote setting in Morocco with its grazing lands and desolate tracts, and in another part of the world, Tokyo, with its resplendent yet lonely megalopolis -- they see their lives unraveling, yet are unaware of the common thread running through them.
In essence, human frailty and disillusionment are exemplified by Babel’s central characters -- a couple traveling in Morocco in order to emotionally reconnect; a Mexican nanny who brings their children across the US-Mexican border without the parents’ permission to attend her son’s wedding; a herdsman and his two young boys; and a teenage deaf- mute desperately seeking attention from her father and friends in Tokyo. As fate would have it, a rifle ends up in the possession of a local herdsman who delegates to his young sons the task of guarding the family’s herd from jackals.
While playfully testing the rifle’s capacity, the younger son of the herdsman accidentally shoots the lady-tourist, seriously injuring her. The ensuing events find the traveling couple’s nanny facing arrest and deportation for her unauthorized action; and the teenage deaf-mute enduring a dreary existence as social outcast. All these tormented souls attempt to soothe the pain and isolation they encounter as they wrestle with misfortunes and upheavals.
The parallel crises take place simultaneously, and as the families deal with their respective hurdles, they pay a high price – with their soul, dignity, freedom and life. Overall, it is a good movie that insightfully depicts the human condition and how people will go to great lengths to survive or find elusive happiness or meaning in an imperfect world where actions have impact on others. Reference Inarritu, A. G. (Producer/Director). (2006). Babel. US: Paramount Pictures Corporation.
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Key Message & Insights to be Gleaned from Babel, the Movie. (2016, Jul 16). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/key-message-insights-to-be-gleaned-from-babel-the-movie/
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