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8/10
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2 June 2009
The movie reminded me of Babel, which is not that crazy since Arriaga wrote and directed Babel together with Alejandro González Iñárritu. (I only found this out after I saw The Burning Plain). Whereas I thought Babel was good but not superb, I absolutely loved The Burning Plain. just like Babel, The Burning Plain doesn't do chronology and I love the way Arriaga uses the lack of a chronological time-line to put you on a sidetrack time and time again. Of course I suspected things but I completely missed one of the biggest twists. Past and present are so mixed up that it isn't until quite far into the movie that you realise how all the characters are connected. And in this connection you'll find the big difference between the two movies. Whereas Babel shows the stories of people that are only connected by coincidence, The Burning Plain goes much further than that. When, almost in the end, you find out what really happened you cannot but acknowledge the genius of the person who wrote the story and the stylish way the movie was directed.

Once the 'big twist' is revealed it was like an 'aha-Erlebnis'. From beginning until ending you are wondering about the connections between the characters. "What does Sylvia have to do with Mariana and Santiago, or with Gina and Nick"? When eventually you find out, it is like a puzzle with the last piece falling in place. The result is a beautiful picture with a sad undertone, but not one I would have wanted to miss.
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