Sunday, June 06, 2010

"Babies" (2010) - Movie Review

Think about this, four babies from four different nation and director Thomas Balmes with his crew will capture the myriads of cute actions, steps, smiles, cries, anger and discoveries from these little precious human beings. This has got to be the best possible idea to come up with for a film, isn’t it? Much to the surprise of mine, “Babies” having several of those cuteness fizzles out like an amateur running a marathon. Beautiful and artful it is but there should be something more than that.

This 79 minutes long documentary does what I mentioned and focusses on these small creatures with their siblings, parents, animals and their surroundings. There is a contrast drawn upon the way each of these parents nourishing and parenting their flesh and blood. The much more far and impressive of these four will be seeing Ponijao grow up in Opuwo, Namibia. Born in the tribes, the infant is brought up not without care but more towards the basic harshness of the nature. That means crawling on the stoned surface and flies circulating him constantly. We are worried, sometimes shocked but the point of the matter is that somehow most part of it are how our ancestors without the birth of these luxuries and technology would have brought their kids. True that it exposes dangers bringing the mortality closer but seeing Ponijao and several others survive it informs about our basic natural instincts.

Seeing Ponijao been brought up in those tough environment, the next better environment would be for Bayar from Bayanchandmani, Mongolia. With scenic surroundings and cattle wandering around naturally mowing the grass, Bayar has some interesting qualms with his sibling. This will be followed by Mari in Tokyo, Japan and Hattie in San Francisco, USA. The names of the parents, siblings or any history of their education, work and lifestyle are not discussed. There are no interviews, dialogues or any text mentioning some information about the reason they chose these four or the objective of these close follow up. It is the objective of the film and it sufficiently keeps our interest levels on the curiosity of babies learning and understanding little things.

Later things goes where I got into the territory of being restless. I wanted to see more than babies doing cutesy stuff. It is not a necessity to have dialogues. We see the encounters of babies with the animals simultaneously and see their reactions. The animals are unaffected and withstand the naive tortures these infants impose. There is a commonality of the rivalry developing with their siblings. It ends there.

Regardless of the qualms I have, “Babies” does have some breathtaking shots of the nature and the nature of bringing up the babies in different parts of the globe. The film boldly takes the close up shots of feeding and the innocence at its work. The innocence, unawareness and seeing these miniature beings of our once long and forgotten memory is exciting. What is the thought that goes in their mind when they laugh at nothing? How emotions translate and how it is unbelievable to see their grasping ability. These are all the questions and amazement any one would have seeing any kid. They are the same seeing them in better photography and good music to accompany them.

“Babies” is the film where you cannot refuse your love. It is true because this is ultimate purity of human beings in action. There is something so clean, clinical and colourful about this process of growing up and in this film it is out there without a doubt. There is a time limit for everything, even the best of things and here they push their luck. Even with the very short 79 minutes, “Babies” begin to appear going on and on. We smile and chuckle at these adorable kids but soon enough we want to know them more and their surroundings even more.


Bombay Belle said...

I'm sold! I want to watch it for the babies and the spectacular views of their surroundings.

I know YOU want one.

Ashok said...

Yeah right !!!