Last night we watched the movie Babel. We'd seen it in the theater and while I remember crying at several different points and being very moved, the specifics were lost over the past year.
The back of the DVD case says "a tragic accident in Morocco sets off a chain of events that will link four groups of people who, divided by cultural differences and vast distances, will discover a shared destiny that ultimately connects them."
The story is woven together beautifully, and I became so involved with the characters that during each scene, I forgot about the others. I've seen films with intersecting storylines before but I find myself wondering what's going on with everyone else when I should be concentrating on those onscreen. Not so with this film.
I often quote movies and funny one-liners quickly become a part of my dialect. Anyone remember "Do it" from Starsky & Hutch or "Gawd, idiot!" from Napolean Dynamite? We say those so much they've even worked their way into my memoir. In the same way comedies wheedle into my life, movies like Babel impact my day-to-day existence.
I won't be quoting Brad Pitt anytime soon, but many of the decisions presented to the characters are issues that do impact my life. Spoiler: When Cate Blanchett's character is shot and they struggle to get her to a hospital, I was reminded of conversations Ibis and I have had.
Living in another country, we need to have a plan if anything happens to either of us. I can speak passable Spanish, but can I get him help in an emergency? And what if something happens to both of us? His family doesn't speak English and my parents don't speak Spanish - how will word get to them?
I raised these concerns with our American neighbor and she recommended we talk to a woman in Ixtapa that works with the American Consulate. I'm already registered with the US Embassy in Mexico City, but that could take awhile. Watching Cate and Brad come to grips with the idea that she might die in a tiny town in the middle of the desert - on the other side of the world from everyone they know and love - really hit home for me.
The more obvious scene - the Mexican nanny lost in the desert at the US/Mexico border - also struck a chord, but as we don't plan to sneak across the border, that's a little more far-fetched for us.
This isn't intended as a movie review, and don't be scared away if you're not big on Brad Pitt - he's not in it nearly as much as the previews would have you believe - but this film moved me again. To me, that makes it worth watching.