starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael García Bernal, Kôji Yakusho
screenplay by Guillermo Arriaga
directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
by Travis Mackenzie Hoover By this late date, the Magnolia-esque interconnected-lost-souls genre ought to have burned out. The films never meant anything, and when they did move us, it was in such an arbitrary, unfocused way that nothing intelligent could be gleaned from our self-interested pity. But here it is 2006 and I find myself reviewing Babel, which fills the tired bill to a chronologically-fractured T. I'd say that it isn't the worst of the genre, yet figuring out which one is suggests an academic exercise from which I'd rather be excused; suffice it to say that this globalized spin on the old saws is predictably pointless, with the added extra of none of its characters' actions resembling human behaviour even once. Instead of a powerful statement on the loneliness of individuals, we encounter a cavalier attitude towards the non-white and a prurient interest in the damaged sexuality of a teenage girl that destroys whatever patience we might have left.