The Old Age of Hollywood: Babylon

Mesmerizing, shocking, incredible, surprising, and classic. The same director of La La Land and Whiplash, Damien Chazelle, leaves audiences stunned by his use of visuals, music, and storytelling to communicate the tale of Babylon. As the title of the movie states this is a story resembling one of an ancient city called Babylon. A city left in ruins but filled with remarkable achievements for the entire world. The film reflects upon this same legacy left by old Hollywood, as we follow multiple characters which different roles in the industry during this time. 

Paramount Pictures.

Direction

Just a few minutes into the movie, Chazelle’s direction does a great job of highlighting the bustle of old Hollywood. It becomes clear to the audience nothing will be held back as drugs, sex and alcohol can be seen from very early on as key pieces used to emphasize the free range and hectic atmosphere at the moment. Another factor that makes the 3-hour and 9 minutes film incredibly powerful is its use of music, the film’s soundtrack resembles La La Land as Jazz becomes a clear trademark in both films. The film’s beautiful imagery also becomes an important factor in making the movie memorable.

Acting

The film features performances by Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Tobey Maguire, Jean Smart, Olivia Wilde and Phoebe Tonkin who are already renowned figures in the film industry Making the breakout performance of this film most definitely Diego Calva, whose performance in the film was as impressive as any of the rest casts. His character moves us from beginning to end, highlighting the hopes of pursuing actors and the number of lives the industry touches without leaving success. This particular theme isn’t only highlighted by Calva’s character but by the majority of the leading characters of the story. We can see their beginnings as free-ranging spirits filled with ambition, but as they grow into the industry it results in quite the opposite. The powerful performance of the cast allows for a connection with the audience that leaves a clear message of warning and reflection upon the industry of old Hollywood.

The Story

As already stated Babylon strongly reflects the impact of Old Hollywood and the legacy it left. The story begins with the superficial overview that Old Hollywood was out of control, lacking boundaries and expanding beyond what was moral at the time. Though as the film progresses viewers get to see the true meaning of the film, as the timeline is presented it’s revealed through the characters that the movie hopes to be way more than just an out-of-control representation of Old Hollywood. Instead a reflection of its impact both in the overall industry and those who worked hard to have it last and stand the test of time. The film creates a clear image of the devotion, commitment, creativity, and ambition of the figures that made this period so legendary, and how much was sacrificed by them to have it be what we know today as one of the most influential periods for film and filmmaking, old Hollywood the film industries Babylon.

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