Babylon 2022 is an American epic period comedy-drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It features Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, Jean Smart, Jovan Adepo, and Li Jun Li.
It is a tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess. It traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of Hollywood’s unbridled decadence and depravity in the late 1920s. As a film, Babylon does not accurately tell all that happened in early Hollywood, rather it is determined to show all the excesses and hedonism of the era in all its “glory.”
Filming for Babylon was initially set to take place in California in mid-2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, filming began on July 1, 2021, and wrapped on October 21, 2021.
The film runs for a bit over 3 hours. English and Spanish are the languages spoken.
An original epic set in 1920s Los Angeles led by Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Diego Calva, with an ensemble cast including Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li, and Jean Smart. A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.
BABYLON 2022 OFFICIAL TRAILER.
BABYLON 2022 FILM REVIEW.
Babylon is a very interesting though confusing film to watch, especially in its later part. I don’t know about others but for me, It was a bit confusing as I did not understand what went on in some scenes or why they went on.
If it’s for entertainment, Babylon has it all; wild dancing, music performances, fights, orgies, and much more.
Babylon 2022 film is not based on a true story, though it blends both fictional and some real-life Hollywood characters. That being said, Babylon was exhausting to watch as it was all over the place with too much fluff, too many superfluous subplots, complex scenes and language, awful editing, but there was a lot I loved. The opening sequence is a sight to behold, mesmerizing me with its colorful intensity and fast pace.
I know you have all been waiting for my take on the character’s performance and the cinematography. Well, let’s get into it.
Character/Acting: Babylon features numerous actors and actresses who didn’t even get valuable screen time but the ones who got enough screen time outdid themselves. Characters like Margot Robbie, Diego Calva, and Brad Pitt.
Margot plays the lead role of LeRoy Nellie, a displaced Jersey girl who claims she is a star and is desperate to break into the movies. She pursues stardom with everything she has. From the moment she enters onto the party scene, she takes over the movie with breathtaking performance and makes it herself the focus.
Margot’s performance is excellent. She is full of energy, and zeal and she fully engages the audience as she embodies the Nellie LaRoy character.
The timid and quiet Manny Torres is played by Diego Calva. He is much like Nellie in that his ambition is to work in the movie business. Manny is a likable presence as the supporting centerpiece character. He doesn’t talk much so he is forced to use his facial expression and his body movements to convey some messages and he does that well.
Everything in this film was flying up and down except Manny. He was focused on the girl he claimed to love and of course his way into the movie industry.
Oscar-winner Brad Pitt plays the drunken womanizer but goodhearted silent movie star Jack Conrad. His role was funny to an extent especially when he was with Manny. He displays a lot of emotions especially with his eyes and body as is expected from a star who is trying to revive his career.
As always, Pitt delivers.
Cinematography: The Cinematography for this film is fantastic; the camera work, photography, costumes, and production design are all stellar. Asides from some poor editing, especially the movie montage at the end which got me confused, the technical aspects of the film are quite astonishing.
The costuming and sets are dynamic and show how disorganized and tumultuous early Hollywood was.
The sounds and scores were beautiful. Justin Hurwitz has done it again with Call Me Manny and other wonderful songs after the superb work he did in La La Land.
Singin in the Rain Original YouTube Video.
Themes: Babylon is filled with some strong messages /themes. One of the themes of this entertaining comedy film is the cost of success. This is shown in the three most featured characters Nellie, Manny, and Jack. The road they took to achieve success for both Nellie and Manny is to get into the movie industry and for Jack is to remain relevant in the industry.
This cannot only be seen in this film but can also be seen in life, the price we pay to be successful.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to IMDB, The character Jack Conrad appears to be based on John Gilbert, a leading MGM star of the 1920s. Talkies revealed to many an apparent mismatch between his soft voice and his dashing on-screen persona, leading to dwindling roles, a drinking problem, and a death by a heart attack in 1936, at the age of 38.
Gossip columnist Elinor St. John’s line about Conrad near the end of this film was true also of Gilbert; despite his final MGM films tanking, he was still getting one of the largest paychecks in Hollywood due to his former fame and contract. Gilbert’s story also inspired the screenplay for Singin’ in the Rain (1952), particularly one of the clips featured in this film.
This is an interesting drama comedy to watch as it is filled with all forms of entertainment, captivating dialogues, brilliant twists, and more. The film chugs along at a good pace for the next two hours to the point I didn’t feel the runtime for most of it. It’s the last hour or so where Chazelle loses the story a bit.
I must warn you, there are moments where the movie gets pretty gross for instance, there’s an early scene involving an elephant that is going to shock you. So, just be prepared.
This film is rated R for strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity, bloody violence, drug use, and pervasive language. I would recommend Babylon to comedy lovers above 18.
There were several instances where I thought the film was over, but another scene would pop up next. The runtime feels unnecessary and there are honestly whole plot lines that could be cut out that wouldn’t affect the film.
You can watch Baylon 2022 on Netflix.
Similar genre – Triangle of Sadness
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