Babylon Review: As Bold of a Movie As They Come!

With acclaimed director Damien Chazelle at the forefront, guiding a stacked cast and esteemed crew, Babylon was poised to be one of the biggest films of the decade. After all is said and done, I would say it definitely succeeds from the sheer scale of its spectacle. Damien Chazelle elicits two voluminous messages with Babylon. For one, it is a portrait towards the mystifying art of filmmaking in all of its glory and beauty. The sprawling set pieces and eccentric extras are indicative of the exaggerated liveliness coursing through the veins of Los Angeles. At another angle, it is a scathing critique of the bombastic nature of Hollywood and the industry.

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It’s explored primarily through three characters: the ambitious Manny Torres, the talented Nellie LaRoy, and the experienced Jack Conrad. These characters go through such immense development that erects Chazelle’s narrative to great heights. Some excellent performances are delivered from Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, and the supporting cast. However, Margot Robbie is truly fantastic in what she brings through her character.

Damien Chazelle does not disappoint as the director once again with Babylon being such a technical marvel. The cinematography by Linus Sandgren is astounding, the production design is packed with considerable detail, the score composed by Justin Hurwitz is exciting and befitting of the wild time period, and the editing is fast paced to continue the motion of this three hour film with little tire.

There are a few shortcomings that hinder Babylon from being truly excellent, sadly. While the most significant target points are tightly in aim, it loses focus in some other areas. The incorporation of a few secondary characters could have been leveraged a bit better. The ending of the film started to lose me as it felt like too much was happening at once. Some revelations were made near the end that I felt would have been better left ambiguous, and there is a sequence where I understood the thought but the execution was flawed.

Babylon is as bold of a movie as they come. It’s Damien Chazelle’s power play against Hollywood that captures the beauty of the art of film with prodigious creative prowess and ambition.

‘Babylon’ Rating – 4/5

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