The movie title ‘Baby Driver’ gave me pause because it sounded so Nollywood-ish, Baby Driver? why that title, it took me watching its trailer on YouTube, to even drum up minuscule desire to see the movie.
Weren’t Movie Producers aware of the important part, titles play in Movie viewership and reception? In this case, I guess not?
As I sit to watch the movie, I must confess, its insipid title, belie the artistic beauty of this movie, because the director Edgar Wright shows such mastery, by intricately weaving music, comedy and action, giving it the ‘Ocean 11’ heist movie vibe and the vehicular feats of movies like ‘The Transporter’ and ‘Fast and Furious’
At the start of the movie, we are introduced to the adorably young, yet mysterious man, called Baby (Ansel Elgort), who sings and dances to the music he listens to, while he waits as a getaway driver, for a band of thieves robbing a bank nearby.
He has his ear phones and sunglasses on, as he hilariously moves his body and the windshield wipers to the beat of his music, this does nothing to reveal him as a malevolent criminal entity. He comes off as the teenage boy next door, in a jaw dropping moment, we are left dumbfounded by his prowess behind the wheels as he drives the bank robbers and their misbegotten loot, eluding police capture. I am, and surely countless cinema goers, are left at the edges of their seats, as if participants in this high speed chase.
Oh the glorious rush of adrenaline!
The protagonist Baby is as eccentric as they come, forever spotting his dark sunglasses and ever present ear phones, which keeps his severe tinnitus in check, an affliction he incurs as a child in a ghastly car accident that claimed both his parents. He records every day conversations and make them into song remixes, these recordings, his iPods and a cache of money from his robberies are his prized possessions .
As the movie progresses, we realize that Baby(Ansel Elgort) is compelled to work for Doc (Kelvin Spacey), the Mastermind behind these heists, to offset a debt he owes, despite being a part of this nefarious cycle, we can’t help but glimpse several instances in his character where his sense of justice, fairness and his aversion for violence is so glaring. Such instances in the movie are, moments he looks away when an innocent man is being attacked, or when he attempts to warn the cashier at the post office to stay off work, on the day scheduled for the post office robbery. His sense of honour is made all the more obvious, in his concern for his aged and deaf foster father.
He is assured by Doc, that after one final job, his debt is paid, a desire he nurses, one where he is finally free from a life of crime. His debt to Doc is paid off, as agreed and he is set free albeit temporarily as he proceeds to live a normal life, being a pizza delivery guy, while he pursues a budding romance with the waitress, Deborah (Lily James).
Doc finds his way back into Baby’s life, by threatening him and those he loves, apparently he is unable to do without Baby’s peculiar skill set. Another commendable thing about the movie, is the director doesn’t bombard us with so much hoopla and stunts, which may have clouded the plot development, rather, the plot evolves organically, until it reaches an exciting crescendo, leaving us laughing, crying, angry, feeling pity and love all at once. All emotions the director wants us to feel and this is testament to his skill that we are not left behind as the plot unravels.
Wright goes further in his aesthetic torture as he tantalizes us with strains of beautiful music, scene by scene, if you are a music lover like me, you are sure to have your phone constantly ‘shazaming’, so you get these song titles to listen to later or you just google the movie’s music list.
As my Facebook friend is quick to say “Love the movie… It’s just a mix of La La land, Fast and Furious, Reservoir Dogs and the blue brothers. It is funny, exhilarating, entertaining and definitely worth the ride for a movie night… Wright did an amazing job”.
If you are discouraged about seeing the movie ‘Baby Driver’ because of its title, don’t be, it is an exciting movie, quite riveting in its power to take you away from the present.
See Trailer Here: