Babel

Went to watch Babel with Vivy and her scholar friend, Sigit, yesterday. Babel wasn't as what I expected story wise. From the little clip that I saw long ago that featured Brad Pitt, I thought the movie would be about like the title implies, the inability to communicate what we want because of language barrier and how it can lead to misunderstanding, or the ability to communicate and work together though we are not able to speak the same language. However, the movie isn't like that. Babel told 4 different stories which in a way linked to each other just like Crash. Though I feel one of the link is not that strong.

One story told about Brad Pitt and his wife, Cate Blanchett who went on a trip to Morocco when her wife was accidentally got shot when they were in the bus. I think this story is the one being used the most to promote the movie. I guess this story told not only the desperation you experience when your loved one got hurt, but it also explored the kindness of people. How the Moroccan tried their best to help this couple. My most touching scene in this story is when an old granny gave the wife something to smoke to ease her pain. I don't think that this story was really strong and heart moving. But it is really telling how human can react in such dire situation. When the rest of the tourists decided to leave the couple in the village out of fear that they might get killed just because the people in the village looked like terrorist, I just can't help thinking how people can really walk away.

While this couple in Morocco, their Mexican maid out of desperation took the couple's 2 children to Mexico to attend her son wedding. She tried her best to find a babysitter, but she couldn't find any. Everyone seemed to be having fun at the wedding, though the 2 kids experienced quite a major culture shock. When they went back to America, things went wrong because obviously a lowly Mexican with 2 American kids do raise suspicion. The maid and the 2 kids ended up almost dying in the desert. Fortunately no one died. The maid was deported back to Mexico without any chance of returning to America. The Brad Pitt family pretty much the only one having a happy ending in this movie.

Another story told about the shepherd boy who shot Cate Blanchett. He and his brother didn't mean it, they just wanted to test the gun. They were stupid for aiming it at a moving bus, but it's like one of those thing. You think nothing bad will happen from harmless fun, but it can be so disastrous. In this case, his brother died when the police tried to catch them. It is so heartbreaking because they were with their father who tried his best to protect them and yet he couldn't really do much. It's also heartbreaking how someone so young can use a gun and shoot well. Being in the age that we are right now, the news in the movie were all about terrorist who were attacking this American couple. I can not help thinking being in a real world, if such thing does happen and the government in that country said "Oh, it's just an accident done by a shepherd boy". Who would believe that? People would think that the country is so lame for coming out with such an excuse. I guess that just shows how high the suspicion is in our world now.

The rifle that the boy used to shoot came from a Japanese man who gave it to his guide when he went hunting in Morocco. This brings us to the Japanese story, of his deaf and mute daughter who I felt is so sad and had so much frustration inside of her. I think she's pretty desperate of wanting to be wanted by someone. She practically threw herself to every guy out there and yet no one wanted to sleep with her. It is sad, because she had given everything to the point of being naked and all and yet it wasn't happening. It's like there's nothing else she can do to make anyone want her and I just can feel her sadness and uneasiness being in this world, like things are so wrong, like she doesn't belong there. The actress, Rinko Kikuchi, got an Oscar nomination for her role here. I do must say that she is the strongest out of all the cast, but I can't help wonder if she got it because of the heavy nude scene she had to do. But yeah, she was really strong and intense in this movie.

So was it a good movie? Hmmm...I don't think it is as strong as Crash however maybe it does deserve an applause for exploring life and culture in other parts of the world. Crash explores a city but Babel took us to many places in this world. Watching it, I can't help thinking how different life is in another part of the world. In Morocco, you have these people living in a rock house, in Japan you have school girls wearing such short skirts and there in Mexico and America, which is so near and separated by a border, how life and civilization is so different. It's not just about the place, but the people and their view of life. Here you are thinking of getting an iPod and yet in another country, a family is sharing 1 plate of food. It seemed so incomprehensible that we actually live in the same planet but it is the way it is. Does Babel tried to deliver any message? I don't know, I'm not feeling anything. I suppose if after watching it you can appreciate your life and the culture in other country, then it would be good. If you can slow down a bit and listen more and understand more, I suppose life would be better because it doesn't matter if you speak the same language, if you don't listen you will not understand.

Moving on, ah it's gonna be a long post. Did a stupid thing yesterday morning. Cleaned my right lens with the wrong solution and straight away put it in my eye and damn it! It hurts!!! It was so red and is still a bit red today, though I think this evening it finally is getting clearer. So I had no choice but to wear my glasses the whole of yesterday and today. As such, I was not really in a friendly mode today. Just feel quite cranky. It doesn't help that now arriving in the place I live in feels weird because of an addition of a strange stranger. Can I also complain about all the babysitting that I now seem to be doing quite often. AAaarrrghhh, I have enough kids of my own. Anyway, I just realized that I haven't eaten junk food in at least 2 weeks. Such an accomplishment. As a matter of fact, had been eating more Indonesian food that usual. Yesterday we had lunch at Garuda Padang in Vivo city. Stupid me, I was pretty stunned to see the food are so Padang (hello Eka, it's already in the name!). The price was pretty high for the serving they gave but my rendang chicken was not bad, the egg in curry was also not bad (I love eggs), but the chicken soup was a disappointment though there were generous amount of shredded chicken. I just feel my chicken soup tastes better and I don't even cook!

Okay, moving on, I have put too many words up there. It's time to address one of my reader's mail. None other than Ms. J. She emailed me about one of the phrase I wrote in the previous posts. The line from Paulo Coelho's book, "Why is it that we destroy the things we love most?". From that line, I expect people to just stop for a while and reevaluate their lives and hopefully can prevent doing what the line suggested but Ms. J kinda offers an explanation why people does so. In short I think what she means is what you love can be so wrong. Now that I think about it, I guess you do can love the wrong thing. Your heart may not be pure, there's lust, greed, jealousy, and so on and as such these things can fuel a love which is not right. Love burns and it can really burn you. I guess, the thing is, as it is with life is to strike a balance. Reevaluate your life and your feeling often and don't quickly jump into action just because you are afraid you will be heartbroken. Do not destroy something before it has a chance to bloom. Yes it may wither and die but for a small second it lasts, you are able to see how beautiful it is when it blooms. Be happy for the kindness you receive. Be sincere about it. If you can't pay it back to the one who gives it to you, make sure you are able to do the same to others. Be thankful 'cause most importantly it is God who is looking out for you and so He sends all these wonderful people. So do the same to others. Really got to stop now, so tired and it's been too long. I will leave you with this tagline from Babel

If You Want to be Understood...Listen

:) eKa @ 8:49:00 PM •

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