Once upon a time, I wrote a personal article about Edgar Wright, praising him to the heavens. I said he should leave the British shores and come to Hollywood to accomplish more remarkable feats. After directing four successful films, the director eventually made the transition to Hollywood studios and perhaps even created one of the best films of 2017, one that flirted with an Oscar. While working with the notable actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in the Cornetto trilogy, the director had the opportunity to work with top-class actors. Simultaneously, he adeptly harnessed the resources available in Hollywood to craft one of the most exceptional stories and high-quality car-action sequences in recent years. This is a film that will leave you breathless, delight your ears with its music, and enchant you with its story. It may be a bit of a grand assertion, but, Baby Driver, is a masterpiece.
Let’s briefly touch on the plot… Baby, a driver who’s faster than the wind and cunning enough to deceive danger itself, owes a debt to the character Doc, portrayed by Kevin Spacey. Doc uses him in heists, promising a “settlement” in each one. The day of reckoning inevitably arrives, and Baby will regain his freedom by participating in one last heist. However, once you get your hands dirty, you’re never really clean. Crime never lets go of you. No matter how fast a driver Baby may be, trouble is faster than him, and it will open doors to jobs that exceed his limits.
Director Edgar Wright is known for embellishing successful stories with splendid craftsmanship, using music and action sequences as a seasoning for his works. The Cornetto trilogy and Scott Pilgrim, which he directed, are high-quality works suitable for showing in film editing classes at schools. Wright, who envisions the editing not at the editing table but in his mind, directs the shoots accordingly, creating brilliant transitions. However, with his transition to Hollywood, he temporarily set aside this distinctive style in “Baby Driver.” Or rather, he used it sparingly. This time, he focused on successfully choreographed shots and sequence plans, and he executed them so well that I believe we should expect to see Edgar Wright in the list of Oscar nominees next year.
While Wright abandoned some of his editing distinctiveness in favor of choreographed shots, he enhanced his love for music a few notches. Music plays a significant role in the film. The director, who enjoys supplementing scene details with sound effects, has abundantly used this technique in the film. Furthermore, the film’s protagonist, Baby, has a deep love for music, and music appears throughout the film, adding to the entertainment factor. In fact, the film’s title, “Baby Driver,” is derived from the song of the same name from Simon & Garfunkel’s 1970 album “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The film also pays homage to the album’s title in a significant scene. In many places in the film, you can also see song lyrics written on walls and here and there.
Edgar Wright began working on “Baby Driver” back in 1995, but it took him a full 16 years to complete the screenplay. Filming was fated for 2017. Wright must have had it in him for a while because he even held a preview of “Baby Driver” in the music video he directed for Mint Royale’s “Blue Song.”
Although he succeeded in bringing his long-in-the-works screenplay to life with Hollywood resources, he did not use a single CGI or green screen in the film. All the car scenes are entirely accurate. “Baby Driver” features breathtaking scenes and sequences, and we can confidently say that a very, very high-quality film has emerged from Hollywood, which has been experiencing a lack of original stories and quality for a long time. Additionally, the director, who is known for being a cinephile, leaves references to many classics throughout the film, from “A Clockwork Orange” to “Mulholland Drive,” from “Monster Inc.” to cowboy films. The film also employs colors symbolically; for example, red represents evil or the transition to evil.
One of the film’s most successful aspects is the acting. Working with high-quality actors such as Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm, Jon Bernthal, Lily James, and Kevin Spacey, the director provides them with fantastic characters, ensuring the film’s success. He even wrote Jon Hamm’s character specifically for him. The actors must have had a great time working with each other because Jamie Foxx, despite not being in the scene, stayed on set to watch all of Kevin Spacey’s scenes. The famous rapper Big Boi also makes a small appearance in the film. Here, we need to open a big parenthesis for Ansel Elgort. He indeed carries the film. Portraying an excellent, reticent, brilliant character, Ansel fills a void of original characters that we haven’t seen in a while. Despite being surrounded by many big names, the actor proves that he can deliver much more in capable hands.
The film boasts Baby’s music choices for heists, his ever-present earbuds, his legendary driving skills, fantastic characters, perfect action scenes, and one of the most successful stories in recent years. “Baby Driver” is a highly exceptional film that harbors the originality we’ve been searching for. Despite my deep admiration for Edgar Wright, I strive to provide an objective viewpoint: “Baby Driver” will undoubtedly be among the top 10 films of 2017. Therefore, “Baby Driver” is a film that you must watch, preferably in the theater. I also recommend doing some breathing exercises before watching because the film will literally take your breath away in its action scenes.
Cast & Crew
director: Edgar Wright
writers: Edgar Wright
starring: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, Eiza González, Jon Bernthal
UK | 2017 | 113 MINUTES |