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