Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Corruption and Destruction

As well as being the most ambitious to date, Damien Chazelle’s films have always looked at the entertainment industry through a scandalous lens. It has perpetuated urban legends about the wild, dark side of Hollywood. Chazelle’s screenplay alludes to quite a few real-life figures since the Silent Era turned to talkies. To the delight of anyone familiar, the director adopted a similar approach to Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.

Narratively, it’s for comic effect during the first two hours. With favorite production of epic proportions, the film comments on many of its irreverences, such as corruption and destruction, in its final third. However, Chazelle uses the setting to replay themes he finds in Whiplash, La La Land, and First Man. Those who are desperate to become stars by humbling themselves or putting in the effort required to join various professional circles; although the backdrop may be full of excessive period details and excesses, the newcomer is a variation on the theme for Chazelle.

Once again, he occupied himself with a committed artist. The first sight is of an elephant’s anus being exposed and spewing sticky excrement into two male nights. They tried to push the animal up the hill.

An Elephant

At the top of the hill, a Hollywood executive is waiting for them inside the mansion. Dwarves and copulation dancers fill the house and revel in killer jazz bands while drinking an endless supply of alcohol. There is a drug room with every illegal substance, and other mounds of cocaine are also there. At that moment, the elephant appeared. However, that was only to distract from a girl who recently died from an overdose.

They had to remove her secretly from that place. Chazelle’s madness is more of the particular journey through the out-of-control silent era of Hollywood. The party atmosphere is an understatement of the craziness of the roaring 20s. Promotional studios, celebrity magazines, and trade newspapers cite the place as the most magical of places. However, reputation differs from reality in that many Hollywood dramas fight over it.

This industry processes the intellect of young people who want to be like slaves and are lucky enough to survive. There’s always a sense that Chazelle is experimenting and having fun at every turn. Throughout Babylon, the cinematographer, Linus Sandgren, maneuvers long, elaborate maneuvers through a frantic, euphoric feast. Chazelle’s use of smashed light bulbs and whip pans employs Scorsese’s technique of creating momentum.

Exhilarating Pace

Meanwhile, the editing maintains an exhilarating pace. Throughout the film, the driving score follows the decline and even appearance of the character. There’s a tense sequence on the set of Jack Conrad’s latest costume epic reminiscent of a production worker with hundreds of extras. In the production, some of them die because they can’t stand the heat. Every camera was broken, losing its light, whereas Manuel Torres, or Manny, had to rush into town to hire another camera.

The rush goes awry, but Manny manages to get away with capturing the final shot, resulting in a serendipitous moment caught on camera. It demonstrates Orson Welles’ filmmaking theory that it is all about sacrifice when leading an accident. Despite the silent film star Jack’s maintaining his iconic status while dealing with a drinking problem and a growing list of ex-wives, irrelevant realities have always loomed over him.

Manny battles a gopher breaking into the Hollywood elite as a dirt receiver in the first opening. However, he soon realized his dream of becoming a filmmaker. On the other hand, there is Nellie LaRoy, a country girl who is insatiable but never afraid to arrive in Los Angeles with boundless mental talent.

Antithesis of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Joined by his father, Nellie is determined to become a Hollywood star. Besides Nellie, a singer named Lady Fay Zhu considers her brand of obscene sexuality, not a market targeting moral groups in Hollywood. She called for the censorship of films. Other characters, such as Sydney Palmer, play a black jazz trumpeter who discovers that Hollywood only wants to exploit her race and talent.

Apart from Sydney, a tabloid journalist named Elinor St. John writes about them privately. These characters will continue to recognize that Hollywood is halfway through the transition process. It seemed to Jack that Hollywood would not make the same sound adjustments as in Singin’ in the Rain. Marked by a bleak fate, the star became dim but very good in the early scenes as a charismatic actor.

Jack’s sense of pride and humanity as an artist emerges in the final third. Despite realizing he was past his prime, Jack maintained his devotion to film. He would always give passionate speeches decrying how New York’s elite belittled his entertainment for the masses. Chazelle’s sad undercurrent becomes an antithesis to Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Unwavering Optimism

Despite having some similarities, both films also have Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt and feature shooting with the character Robbie, who is very happy to see himself in the cinematic scene. In their free time, they also play Hollywood. However, Babylon did not take a detour into historical revisionism. Indeed, Tarantino envisioned an alternate timeline in which the Manson family never killed Sharon Tate.

It became a symbol of unwavering optimism in 1960s Hollywood. In Babylon, the catalyst marked an artistic paradigm shift that caused a creative explosion for many. However, it makes the film’s characters feel so left behind. It marked an era in which female directors were not uncommon. Openly, the filmmaker perpetuates racial stereotypes and creates some. Therefore, Chazelle was hanging around the Kinescope production site and spying on various shootings that were taking place.

Some of them test the limits of representation that audiences can accept. However, the entertaining sequence finds Nellie on the set of her first film under the direction of Ruth Adler. Chazelle will feature doppelganger Samara Weaving as Nellie’s established competition, a metanarrative of cutthroat business when Nellie outplays her co-star. Nellie’s courage and explicit behavior make her a star. It earned her the nickname “Wild Child” by the media.

Depraved Underworld

In 1927, Jack’s fame was through the appearance of talking pictures. Chazelle borrows a reference early from Singin’ in the Rain. The filmmakers struggled to capture sound for audiences with rocky equipment in brutal conditions. Temperamental hot lamps and tape recorders center on filming harmless scenes in a tedious program with slapstick sequences. However, it becomes one of the tensest scenes for all involved.

The film’s three-hour, nine-minute runtime doesn’t exceed its rave reviews. The surreal journey into the depraved underworld, the mischievous subplots, and the relentless revelry of orgies are highly entertaining. Until the last coda, with a few minutes of layer time left, Chazelle jumps to 1952. At the moment, most of the characters disappear or die. Manny returns to Hollywood for the first time in years.

He watched the matinee screening of Singin’ in the Rain again. The film’s story unfolds against the industry’s move to talkies while reflecting the MGM musical. It became the noticeable inspiration for Chazelle throughout Babylon. He draws attention to the audience and only condescends figuratively. On the other hand, he deploys a rhapsody montage complete with cutouts of film clips with ink-colored swirls creating psychedelic shapes.


Amidst the montage, the transition from Raiders of the Lost Ark to The Matrix suggests a small narrow view of FX-laden niche entertainment. Followed by Ingmar Bergman’s Persona in closing, we look back on the opening in nostalgic moments throughout the film. Chazelle ends the film on a slightly sloppy but deflated note. The new Hollywood morality follows the voice to reframe Nellie’s pursuit of pleasure.

People then branded her as trash, and the media rid the increasingly sanctimonious Nellie. After all, Manny did his best to help Nellie by organizing high-class declamation and etiquette lessons. However, he is too unfiltered to fit into the elitist class. In the end, Nellie’s struggles and drug addiction led to an all-time low. When Manny enlists the help of the citizens of Hollywood to help Nellie’s debt, the sequence finds them in the company of a significant freak.

He insists on joining them at Los Angeles’ last real party. Four levels into the downward spiral of human-beast combatants, they decided they had seen too much of the dark side of Hollywood. Indeed, Babylon admits that the industry remains fluid. People inhabit the teahouses on their way and indulge while they can.


At the day’s end, Hollywood will survive while reality plays out as a tragic story with a series of wild parties. Iconic images and names become timeless and fill celluloid. The others disappeared forever. Chazelle’s screenplay never comes close to subtlety. When asking whether all the collateral damage is worth the artwork that the artist produces, we can’t deny that the sloppy but long films that often run in theaters contain a kind of excessive debauchery.

It is immoral but repulsive to some, sparking debate about whether representation means to support or is simply a trigger for media literacy. Still, Chazelle admits the appeal of those uninhibited days. He acknowledged how such freedom came with reckless but careless behavior. Babylon captures the ups and downs with the kind of formal bravado that Chazelle fans have come to expect and won’t soon forget.

It’s not easy when we dismiss cinema as a grueling, ambitious, yet sensational portrait of Hollywood. Chazelle’s whip shot magnifies the situation’s intensity while matching the scene with foot-stomping jazz music. His brilliance in interspersing comedy in dramatic circumstances is unique. When the ending comes as a tribute to each film’s milestone, Manny can only weep and point out how every situation, imagined or real becomes fodder for the film fraternity.

Film and Life

Death, tragedy, pain, and love are inseparable parts of film and life. It’s not about the underlying love story of Manny and Nellie. However, it’s about each work and each artist. At the very least, the existence of the montage is a confirmation. It becomes Chazelle’s expression and is not a commercial product made by the studio. With the preceding moments, it’s probably a better place for the film to end.

Chazelle’s film is an ambitious production. It produces a Hollywood sound like Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights for the porn industry. The jarring cut from James Cameron’s Avatar to Persona emphasizes how rarely films nowadays have artistic ambitions. The mighty recognizes that film has changed little in the last century, being an unholy marriage of exploitation, creation, the market, and art.

At the film’s end, the most common factor among these characters is their strong ambition in the entertainment industry. Both aspects keep them connected and grounded in reality, despite their dreams of making it big. Babylon is a testament to the transience of life for the actor and the industry, apart from the central character traits. Such advances in the world of film have brought cinema to a higher level.


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