“Babylon,” the latest film from director Damien Chazelle, features a movie experience unlike any other. With its three hour and eight minute run time, the film covers a range of emotions, from humor to heartbreak, and everything in between. From the start, the film sets itself apart with a unique opening scene that introduces the film’s characters and sets the tone for what is to come.
At the center of “Babylon” is the story of Manuel Torres (Diego Calva), a young man with big dreams of making it in Hollywood, and Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt), a screen king who loves women and alcohol. Alongside them is Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie), an aspiring starlet who will stop at nothing to see her name in lights. Elinor St. John (Jean Smart) adds to the mix as a screenwriter and gossip columnist who provides an outsider’s perspective to the events unfolding around her.
The film opens with an endless Hollywood party in the 1920s, where Manuel and Nellie meet and share a conversation fueled by cocaine and ambition. This scene sets the tone for the rest of the film, which is filled with grandiose set pieces, fast-paced dialogue, and intense drama.
As the film progresses, the arrival of talkies upends the Hollywood film industry, and the film’s best sequences showcase the struggles and triumphs of the actors and filmmakers adapting to this new form of filmmaking. Despite its decadence, the film’s climax is heart-wrenching, with Manuel’s attempts to save Nellie from her own self-destructiveness falling short.
The film’s characters are complex and multi-dimensional, each with their own motivations, flaws, and ambitions. The film is a commentary on the decadence and nostalgia of Hollywood’s golden age, and its themes of love, ambition, and heartbreak will resonate with audiences of all ages.
Whether you’re a fan of Hollywood’s golden age or just looking for a unique and captivating film experience, “Babylon” is sure to leave a lasting impression.