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Babylon is a fictional snapshot of the end of the silent film era. It follows different players as they struggle to adapt to the evolving landscape of cinema. Things move too fast in Hollywood, and not everyone can adapt fast enough. Those left clinging to a world that has become obsolete struggle with the harsh reality that the world has moved on without them. It is a tragic tale and one that this movie does well.
The music is fantastic, the acting is phenomenal, and the stories are well done. Unfortunately, this movie isn’t going to be for everyone. A lot of this movie focuses on the uncomfortable debauchery of the era. This movie is filled with drugs, nudity, and sex. Keep that in mind if you find the overuse of these themes problematic. I was fine with it, but I think it was a bit overdone. This movie could have been shorter and better without as much indulgence, but it wasn’t so much that it ruined the movie. The real issue I have with this movie is that it will sacrifice the story for its raunchy scenes. You have to sit through a lot of wild parties before you get any development. I understand that it is important for describing the era, but this movie could have been shorter.
I liked the structure of this movie and how quickly it moves through its many plot points. This movie made me feel like I was on as much cocaine as the people in the movie. It gave me well-earned anxiety and kept my attention for the most part. The constant shifting between stories was a bit jarring, but a great emulation of the pacing emblematic of Hollywood. This movie also does a great job of showing the changing of an era. One moment, an actor rules the world surrounded by adoring fans, and in every theater, the next moment, he struggles for relevance as he is no longer compatible with the scene. This movie does an excellent job of showing the tragedy of washing out in Hollywood.
Babylon does a fantastic job of dramatizing the cruel revolving door that shows business. It does a great job at not only capturing important moments in cinematic history but also showing how quickly it evolved from silent films to what we have now. I enjoyed this movie flaws and all, but I wish it was shorter. I don’t think this movie is worth the full ticket price, so I suggest you wait for it to come to streaming. Three hours is much too long to spend in the theater with a movie like this. If you are interested in the movie and don’t mind the debauchery, check it out when you have time. It isn’t something I would go rush to see, but it’ll pass the time and it tries something interesting.
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