[DN1015] Baby Driver – Reflection

This post is going to be such an informal one but I have to admit that never in my life would I have guessed that I’d like Baby Driver this much before watching it. [SPOILER ALERT]

This film’s been mentioned a couple of times in classes and I’ve recently been researching on how visual comedy is done through cinematography, camera movements and cuts alongside music. One director that I came across was Edgar Wright with his distinct style of editing to the music.

This is the video I first came across when researching and I thought it’d be nice to share it here with whoever is interested in doing visual comedy.

“Whenever I’m writing a script, I’m scoring myself by playing the right kind of music.” — Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright brings across so much energy from the scene straight to the audience we get drawn into the world right from the first moment our auditory senses tingle. Right from the opening of Baby Driver we hear a high pitched ringing that fades into a musical note before the visuals open and we hear + see the everyday traffic at a junction. Wright sets up the scene with great detail, foreshadowing something that us as audiences would never have known about (unless one went to read the synopsis before watching) that Baby has tinnitus.

There are so many fine cinematographic details that I would have gotten into details with, explicating why I love them and how they worked really well in the film but I need a mental break and maybe time to watch more of Wright’s films so I’m going to highlight one more narrative decision I think is seamlessly amazing. (that’s one long sentence to read… i apologise..)

 

“I think you have to write the film that you want to see, and try and do it honestly, and you can’t control people’s responses, really.” — Edgar Wright

I had the initial thought that Lily James’ character, Debora, would be playing a very traditional, girly, flirty and almost damsel-in-distress role in an action film as such but I was very wrong for having such assumptions. Really ashamed of myself and I should NEVER have had assumed anything in a film let alone an ACTION film where anything and everything can happen.

Leaving my guilt aside, Debora surprised me at times with how wittily Edgar Wright wrote and directed her to be such a multi-layered, almost onion bulb sort of character. From the start of the film, there is a scene where Baby is first seen getting four black coffees for the team. Here, a girl wearing a striking yellow dress and a denim jacket with purple headphones is seen walking past the storefront, catching Baby’s attention. This is Debora.

Secondly, when we see her again on her first day of work at the diner, she walks in with the same denim jacket and headphones but with a black button up shirt-dress. Heard singing a song with Baby’s name even before she meets him for the first time, she almost immediately begins flirting with Baby when she heads to his table to take his order. Expressing an interest in both cars and music much like Baby right off the bat while initiating a conversation about his mother, it all seems too good to be true.

This alluring temptation for Baby to just leave town and run off with Debora strikes multiple times in the film and it’s as though Edgar Wright is subtly planting her into the piece as a motive and drive for the film. He did it all so seamlessly, if I may say so myself, that I was convinced Debora and Baby’s romantic relationship was pure and innocent.

Side Note. Ansel Elgort was and still is really good looking.

So here’s one last video recommendation for visual comedy before I disappear to watch Shaun of the Dead.

 

“When you write something, at first you might feel very defensive and protective of every single thing, but after a while, you just see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes you do test screenings, and an audience tells you that, or sometimes you eventually just go, ‘Let’s cut the joke out.’” — Edgar Wright

[DN1015] Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Reflection

I feel really terrible to say this and I know many may think otherwise, but I didn’t like this film for the most part. Being mainly confused with the timeline in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I felt that the film could be better portrayed in another way.

Unlike Momento where there were scenes and moments that kept me on the edge of my chair with action and clues, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind failed to interest me right off the bat. It seemed like an old school romantic comedy that was rather tedious to watch.

Maybe because of the increasing number of films, shorts, fictitious novels and creative non-fiction as well as their ability to successfully “fight for” and retain audience’s attentions that do we no longer find such storylines interesting. Likewise with the introduction of Instagram and Insta-Stories, our attention span as a collective whole has fallen to less than 10 seconds. Or it could be that I am simply someone who does not gets things right off the bat as per my experience watching 1917.

“I think the emotional connection to the movie depends on how recently and how deeply you’ve been hurt by a relationship or some other emotional trauma. Something that keeps you distracted at work and sitting up sleepless nights, wondering if they’re with a new partner now, and if they’re fucking, and hoping that their new relationship fails but at the same time wishing them well… and mostly just wishing that you could forget them entirely and move on with your life. When I first saw Eternal Sunshine, I hadn’t really experienced this and it didn’t mean much to me. The second time, it was a gut punch. There are times in my life I would have been first in line to erase someone from my memory.” — christoffel_robin, 7 years ago on https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/165ox5/i_dont_like_eternal_sunshine_of_the_spotless_mind/

However, I have to say that it is interesting seeing how science fiction films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind that was released in 2004 could be this progressive. I also enjoyed the soundtrack and felt it was apt in the respective scenes used.