Year: 2023
    Genre: Drama; Comedy

    Duration: 3 hours, 9 minutes
    Where to watch: Cinemas

    I had the privilege to be invited by Paramount Studios to the Melbourne premiere for Babylon. Do not fret, this is a review of the film and let me tell you … this is a fantastic film. With a run time of 3 hours, there are times where the middle of the film gets a little slow and loses momentum. However, with a bombastic and explosive start and conclusion, the middle leg of the film can feel like it’s dragging out if your full attention isn’t there. 

    Damien Chazelle’s Babylon is an early insight into the film and entertainment industry in the 1920s to 1940s. This is roughly around the time when sound was introduced into motion pictures and we follow Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Diego Calva’s characters as they navigate through the trials and tribulations of early Hollywood, stardom and the ever changing landscape of the entertainment industry. The film is vastly exaggerated for dramatic purposes, but not so much that it’s unbelievable to believe. It follows along a fine line between what could’ve been real for the time and what seems a little far fetched. Overall, I had a fun time with the premise and themes of the film: of discovery, fear of the unknown and the passion for power and the spotlight. 

    Every performance was on full display, which was reflective of the great and comical script. Standout performance from Diego Calva, having not seen any of his previous works, his performance here really put him on my radar. To compliment the visuals and storytelling was the amazing score, using old swing jazz and rocking blues music to accompany the eccentric scenes were a big plus sonically and thematically to the movie (even serving as a plot point for several characters).

    Babylon is an experience for the dedicated. It’s easy to lose track of what is going on, but that’s the beauty and curse of the entertainment industry. With new technology, forever evolving trends and fads, if you miss it or fall behind them the industry won’t wait for you. Such is Babylon, frantic and at times messy, if you miss it … you’ve missed out. 

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