The time has come to talk of Brad Pitt, and significantly, how indifferent I am to him. I liked him in Fight Club, but everyone else in that film was better than he. I hated him in Troy, but I hated everyone else in that one, with the possible exception of Eric Bana (who is, hello, no extreme thespian, but brunet wins versus blond every time in my opinion – and in my opinion, Troy was principally, perhaps solely, noteworthy for the hairdos.) Watching Le Pitt cry into a telephone at the end of
Discount all my opinions on film henceforth, for I am a sucker for Spielbergian manipulation? Eh, maybe. I didn’t like
Let me take a step back. There are four bewitching stories in the film, each one fully-developed and for the most part, beautifully acted. There isn’t disorientation so much as wonder at the way we swing from a Moroccan goatherd’s hut to a soap-opera American suburban home to hotspots in Tokyo. There’s also a Mexican wedding. (I need to emphasize the existence of the Mexican wedding. And Adriana Barraza and Gael García Bernal.) And nannies cry. Young men are foolish. Flies buzz. Children masturbate. Lives are caught in the process of destruction.
It’s a vast canvas, full of disparate strands. A Big Film is a choice that nine out of ten filmmakers with skill and craft and two braincells to rub together would make when presented with the notion of making a film about the barriers of language. So many other aspects spring to life when you look at the problem: culture, politics, economics. I don’t get it, though: why these four stories? Why subtitles? The multiplicity of languages is the whim of an irate god (sidenote: for moral lessons about man’s arrogance, we should all stick with the Greeks) in the biblical
It was resonant in parts, most so in the story of Chieko, the deaf girl – which also gave me the creeps because I couldn’t turn off my wariness of male obsession with Japanese schoolgirls in time. (I know if you’ve read any other review of the film you will have heard oodles about how brilliant Rinko Kikuchi, the actor playing Chieko, is. So let me submit, merely for the record: I think Rinko Kikuchi is pretty fracking brilliant.)
Unrelated footnote: I miss a hi-speed Internet connection like the deserts miss the rain. Also, please never get a pedicure in