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Innarittu…and His Gimmicks

Other than “Biutiful“, I have now watched all the other three films from Mexico’s Most celebrated Director, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu.  And I have found his world as being very close to a bag full of gimmicks!

He started with “Amores Perros“, that “big little movie” which won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2000.  This was a fairly strong debut film, with three interconnected stories.  It starred Gael Garcia Bernal, one of my favorite foreign actors, in a section that I felt was the most interesting (although it could be because it was the first of the three sections, of the movie).  The movie’s graph, however, kept dropping with the remaining two stories, with the last one about a mercenary attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter, being the weakest link.  What was the point??  I’m still trying to figure out…

Innaritu then gave us “21 Grams“, which I feel is his best…but that’s not saying much.  “21 Grams” is another one which interconnects three stories, although this one links all the three main characters to one another.  I felt that due to the non-linear story-telling technique used by Innaritu, the movie was taken up a few notches, with some strong contributions from Naomi Watts, Benicio Del Toro and Sean Penn. But had the story been told in a linear fashion, it would have resulted in….nothing!!  A big gimmick that paid off for the director…but I wasn’t extremely thrilled.

Finally came “Babel“, that overrated yarn of…you guessed it…interconnected, non-linear stories once again.  This time Innaritu went with not three but four multiple storylines.  I felt that the Babysitter’s Section, where Adriana Barraza heads of to Mexico with Brad Pitt/Cate Blanchett’s kids, was the strongest. (Gael Garcia Bernal showed up again in this one as the Babysitter’s Nephew…another terrific performance!!)  But once again, like “Amores Perros” this one had the pointless, never-ending story of the Japanese girl, trying to come to grasp with her limitations…and that completely diluted the overall impact of the movie for me.

From what I’ve read, “Biutiful” is a departure for Innaritu from his non-linear, interwoven storytelling and he hasn’t done a stellar job this time around, even though Javier Bardem has been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar.  But evidence of his “gimmicky” behaviour are apparently evident in his latest film as well, where he tries to achieve too much in a long film.

Innaritu is amongst the three of the modern-day Mexican directors who have won critical acclaim with their works, the other two being Guillermo Del Toro (“Pan’s Labyrinth“, “Hellboy” series) and Alfonso Cuaron (“Y Tu Mama Tambien“, “Children of Men“).  Even though Innaritu’s works have won the most accolades, I personally prefer feel that the other two have imaginations that are far more wild, wicked and entertaining that our gimmick-boy here.  What do YOU think?

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