usually when you think of the term “formula film” you think of hollywood blockbusters and action films that apply the tried and true formula of a strong hero, a damsel in distress, a nefarious villain, some love, lots of action, a comedic character and a plot twist. “formula film,” though, can also be attributed to the films of inarritu (amores perros, 21 grams and babel).
in each of his films he plays with time and the interconnectedness of characters. amores perros was a genuinely good film because it was somewhat novel, well-filmed and well-acted. 21 grams was vastly overrated, pretentious and affected. babel continues where 21 grams left off. inarritu refuses to expand on his formula and, what’s worse, doesn’t even elicit any real, quality performances in the process. the “message,” that we’re all reliant upon each other and that we need to learn to listen and think a little more, is plain and topical. the music plays with negative space (the sound between the notes being played), which might be intellectually interesting if it wasn’t so pretentious and awful. like crash, the plot must only be construed as allegorical because it’s beyond unlikely and features so many stupid elements that to view it as realistic would be about as silly, and take as large a leap of faith, as being a fundamentalist christian (or, better yet, a scientologist).
it’s so predictable that this film, despite its many flaws, would be liked by so many. it’s somewhat like akeelah and the bee – nice enough idea, but poorly realized. frankly, i think that many people lack the ability to sense subtlety in storytelling and character development. a sham of a film.Watched in theater