Babylon Review – Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt
Here’s our Babylon review which stars Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt and directed by written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Distributed locally by Paramount Pictures PH!
*This review is written by our dear friend Vinni Misa*
Depite its runtime, Babylon offers a bittersweet but hopeful tale about seeking immortality amidst the dreams and dangers that come with the cycle of fame in Hollywood. The transition of movies from silent to sound, brought on by 1927’s The Jazz Singer, has been told on film time and again.
From Singing In The Rain and more recently The Artist. But Director Damien Chazelle offers a less sensationalized look on the lives affected by such a transition. Not everyone can successfully transition like Gene Kelly’s Don Lockwood, and not every fading star can be as satirical as Lina Lamont or even Norma Desmond.
The quick rise and fall of movie star Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie) as she gains fame from the latter years of the silents, only to struggle to keep up with the talkies. Dashing leading man Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt), who has grown tired of Hollywood’s formulaic storytelling, yearns for progress only to face the challenges of transitioning when said progress arrives. Audience surrogate Manny Torres (Diego Calva) starts off as a witness to Hollywood’s culture, but soon becomes involved in its progress in moving the status quo forward. Babylon is one of the most divisive films lately. But as someone who used to be a film student, I myself enjoyed it. It’s an unhinged look behind the often glamorized transition of Hollywood from the silents to the sounds.
The inevitable cycles of stars who shine bright before burning out. The consquences of every major technological progress that comes with the ever evolving artform of film. Babylon is a celebration, a satire, and an elegy of Hollywood all in one. The Hollywood we used to know, the Hollywod we know now, and the Hollywood that’s yet to come. I have to give major props to frequent Damien Chazelle collaborator Justin Hurwitz who has composed an ecstatic Jazz score, that hits the nerves just right, especially in scenes of hedonism and madness. My only gripe with the film is the runtime as some scenes can be tiring to watch, due to the emotional content onscreen.
But perhaps that’s part of the storytelling. For better of for worse, Babylon is a film that offers not just a viewing, but an experience. I don’t think my review can give the film justice as it’s a film that needs to be experienced to be judged.
I’m giving Babylon an 8/10.
Warning: There are scenes of fast blinking imagery that can trigger seizures, towards the film’s last minutes.