Drive Drive Baby !!! – Baby Driver [Movie Review]
I love Edgar Wright movies. Not for the stories they tell, necessarily, but the way they are told. The characters that come alive through them stick with you. When I first saw Shaun of the Dead years ago, I realized how well satire, horror and especially zombie lore fit in very well. Then came a movie which features in my all time top 10, Hot Fuzz. Each line, each character in Hot Fuzz make the movie that much more memorable. And finally to wrap up the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ came World’s End, a very bizarre tale of old friends meeting up and wanting to finish something they had started in their teens…with a strange little twist of course. And who can forget Scott Pilgrim? Adapted quite nicely to the comic series yet being original. Edgar Wright owns a style of film making and story telling no one else has gotten anywhere near. I have even watched his TV series called “Spaced”, which I thoroughly enjoyed too. So when his next movie was announced, I was like, “Baby Driver”? what’s that about? Then came the trailers, and it looked hella impressive. The fast driving, the dialogues, the actors. So, when I got a chance to catch the pre-release screening, I just couldn’t wait to be there in the theater!
Baby Driver is about the titular character named Baby, played by Ansel Elgort. A lad of few words but a wicked getaway driver! An event in his childhood leaves him with tinnitus and he fends it off by keeping music constantly plugged into his ears.
Made me love my iPods once again! This alone is the plot of the film, in one line. And what a theme that is! This actually is the foundation of the story, since the entire movie is knit together with music. Baby works for Kevin Spacey’s character, Doc, a crime boss of sorts who put together a crew for his various heists and missions, namely, robberies. While the pros at it do the dirty work and flee, Baby’s job is to drive them away. Casting Elgort is a brilliant move here. He is such a misfit among the group of baddies in the crew, namely Jamie Foxx, who plays Bats and John Hamm who plays Buddy. And he is supposed to be that misfit.
There’s a constant friction between Bats and Baby and then the story proceeds into a spiral and all hell breaks loose. Baby also has a romantic angle with Debora (Lily James), a waitress at a diner and that aspect adds more layers of complication in his outlook, which has been brilliantly captured.
The movie is a crime thriller with a dose of dry humor. But the real star of Baby Driver is the music, the soundtrack. It is this aspect which actually narrates the story and not the dialogues or people. Edgar Wright has done a great job in putting together a string of scenes, cleverly choreographed with the beats of the songs and the result is gold! The car chases and the driving scenes are edge of the seat, but I really looked forward to the cued tracks to each emotion or scenario.
Now I must admit, I sorely missed the likes of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in this Edgar Wright outing. I feel that’s a dream team. Though the edits, the cuts, the camera work, the buildups were typical of Edgar Wright, the movie is too fine to be Edgar Wright. I missed the raw, coarse feel of the earlier movies which made me like them even more. Maybe that’s what higher budgets do. Anyway, that’s not taking anything away from Baby Driver. It’s a visual and more importantly an aural treat!
PS: I happened to reach the screening 15 minutes late and was told I missed THE most amazing getaway sequence in the movie. I plan to go watch it again. So people, please don’t be late 😀
Men Of Comics Ratings: (4 / 5)
Abhijeet Kini is a Mumbai based illustrator, animator and independent comics publisher, known for his comic series “Angry Maushi” and “Fanboys” and his regular work in ‘Tinkle’. Besides drawing for comics and magazines, he’s an avid collector of comics and action figures.