Babylon: Movie Review

Babylon Movie Review: Beauty in Chaos

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After watching "The Fabelmans", we get another ode to the power of cinema with "Babylon". Damien  Chazelle's rendition was quirky, chaotic, and epic in every sense of the word. It's definitely different and somehow found a way to make the mayhem work. But with its long-running time and a penchant to forcibly shock its viewers again and again, maybe it was a little too decadent and a little too wild for our tastes.

It's 1926 in Los Angeles, and Mexican immigrant Manny Torres (Diego Calva) finds himself transporting an elephant to a modern-day bacchanal at a movie studio executive's mansion. There he finds a chaotic blend of drugs, drinks, and sex. In the party, he also meets Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie), an ambitious self-declared "star" from New Jersey and the famous silent actor Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt). The three will go on a journey of excess and self-discovery as Hollywood finds itself in the cusp of change with the arrival of sound.  

This film's first scene features a man being dumped on by an elephant - and it was the wet kind if you get our drift. This scene dictates the craziness that "Babylon" delivers and boy did it deliver. This film was memorable not because it was astoundingly awe-inspiring but because it simply did what it wanted to do without much hesitation and with a production that matches this madness toe to toe. Damien Chazelle made sure that this film about the Roaring Twenties shows why that decade was called as such. But we're pretty sure this will be a divisive film. This was simple and complicated at the same time depending on how you want to consume it. For us, the biggest issues we had with "Babylon" was its literal decadence. At three hours long with jarring transitions, this film was tiring and excessive with patches of brilliance in between - that very last scene with Manny was the perfect bookend to this film clearly showing what Chazelle was gunning for. And we loved how "Babylon" was able to translate the unrelenting nature of change and how one is powerless to its inevitability. At the end of the day, "Babylon" was an experience nonetheless and its really a matter of perception if this will be a great one, a good one, or a bad one.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

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