Director: Damien Chazelle.
Babylon (2022), is a film that is packed with contradictions and inconsistencies. From a personal standpoint, the characters are intriguing and offer a fresh take on the American dream of becoming a Hollywood star but the overall experience of watching this film is frustrating.
The portrayal of Manny, played by Diego Calva, is particularly commendable as it made a strong connection with me, through his struggles to find his way in the film industry (through *literally* elephant shit).
However, the depiction of the transition from silent films to sync sound, which is a pivotal moment in the history of cinema, is nothing short of a monumental failure. Despite being a well-trodden narrative in the history of cinema, as seen in the most-beloved 1950 film ‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘Babylon’ fails to bring anything new or innovative to the table.
The manner in which the story is told is nothing short of disingenuous and undermines the historical accuracy of the film, leaving me feeling disappointed and frustrated. The characters' contemporary speaking, dressing, makeup, and movements are completely at odds with the period setting and detract from the film's credibility. This approach is reminiscent of Sofia Coppola's 2006, ‘Marie Antoinette’. What differs the 2 films is that Sophia Coppola found the right balance in that mix of period and modern filmmaking with self-awareness and humor while Damien Chazelle did not.
In conclusion, ‘Babylon’ is a personal letdown and a frustrating experience. The filmmakers' relentless focus on crowd-pleasing elements detracts from the film's authenticity and leads to a portrayal that is nothing short of a travesty. The characters, setting, and story all suffer as a result, leaving the film feeling like a hollow and inauthentic representation of a pivotal moment in the history of cinema.
In my opinion, the filmmakers missed the opportunity to create a truly compelling and authentic work of art, and the audience and critical reception of the film serve as a testament to its shortcomings.
P.S: the sequence at the end, in which moment from famous historic films is shown, is a total cringe – a pathetic act of masturbation and self-importance.
Verdict: 1.5 / 5 ★ - Not good.