Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Babel – Alejandro González Iñárritu (2006)

My girlfriend bought “Babel” quite a while back, but since I find Iñárritu’s films good, but rather heavy (at least, I remember them that way), I did not really feel like watching it.

And indeed, “Babel” is again somewhat heavy. Not a depressive tear-jerker, but certainly not a feel-good movie either.

There are different stories. Some are obviously linked, others only later prove to be linked with the rest.

First we have the inhabitants of a tiny Moroccan village in which two boys play around and make a awful mistake. Then we have the couple Richard (Brad Pitt) and Susan (Cate Blanchett) who are on holidays in Morocco when something terrible happens. There is also Amelia, an illegal Mexican immigrant in the USA who takes care of two white children. When her brother gets married in her home-country, she takes the worst decission of her life: she takes the children with her to the wedding. Also we follow the young and deaf Japanese girl Cheiko. Even though pretty, her disability gives her a negative approach to life. Forcefully trying to loose her virgity does not make life easier.

Iñárritu managed shows the wildly different cultures, the Mexican, the Japanese, the rural Moroccan, well. The obvious drama and stress around Richard and Susan brings tension to the film. The heartfelt psychological drama of Cheiko makes the film somewhat heavy.

Another good Iñárritu.

Birdman * Alejandro González Iñárritu (2014)

A fine film indeed! I expected a bit of a weird drama and “Birdman” indeed is a bit of a weird drama, but not as weird as the poster and trailer suggest or perhaps just differently and more subtlely.

Riggan is an actor who made fame with the pompous Hollywood comic-scifi franchise Birdman. We find him later in life running a theatre in the hip theatre scene of New York trying to perform the play of his life. Things do not entirely go as planned especially not when Mike comes aboard.

Birdman appears to not only be Riggan’s old movie-character and Riggan also is not an ordinary man thus the film has nicely surreal elements from the beginning. The film is shot with flying cameras and threatre-like drama so both in form and content “Birdman” is certainly a film to see.

Amores Perros * Alejandro González Iñárritu * 2000

A long and rather complex Mexican drama. “Amores Perros” tells different stories, but has one central point: a terrible car-accident with which every person in the film has something to do in one way or another. Two and a half hours is not too long, but it could have been less. A nice film with different sides of Mexican life.

21 Grams * Alejandro González Iñárritu * 2003

The title refers to the weight a person looses at the time of death. What weighs 21 grams? The soul? The last breath? Memories? The burden of life? This question is not answered in the film, but asked all the way back at the end. “21 Grams” is a film about death. It is cut in the vein of “Magnolia”, meaning: short scenes from different stories are shuffled through eachother and shown either or not chronologically. Of course eventually the different lines come together and the story becomes clear.
A woman (Naomi Watts) looses her husband and two little daughters in a caraccident, after which she is followed by Sean Penn. Then there is the story of the man who drove over Watt’s family. The story is very dramatic and the film addresses a few serious questions of life, but the director managed to make a not too heavy film of it. This is done fairly well and the film is a nice watch.