My wife and I went to Bangor yesterday for a little shopping. Bangor traffic is becoming insane even off-season but with Christmas approaching I had my internal traffic sensors in full ignore mode. Appropriate to the insanity of city traffic, we took in the movie Babel
while we were there. That movie is 2 hours and 22 minutes of roller-coaster stress weaving nothing but reality into a disturbingly uncomfortable set of interconnected stories of frustration and danger. The movie has themes, among them language barriers, beaurocratic indifference, the importance of individual needs and actions, and yet how tiny those are compared to the population as a whole. Like I said, the stage for this story is reality but the effect is quite disturbing.
Actually, I was surprised that this movie was showing in Bangor. Usually reality based movies that so directly deal with controversial subjects like torture, illegal immigration, American arrogance, the insignificance of wealth, the sensation of using drugs, the effects of and motivations for suicide, and teen nudity and sex only show up in the alternative theaters like Railroad Square
in Waterville. I had originally planned to see it there but opted for Bangor when we saw that it was playing at the Bangor Mall Cinemas.
I suppose fair warning is due. About half an hour before the movie's conclusion my wife was trying to get me to leave the theater. I wouldn't go. I had to know how all the interwoven stories ended.