Babylon: the best movie of 2022

There is one undeniable thing about Babylon: it’s three hours long, and you won’t be bored for a second.

Babylon dazzles, destroys expectations

Toglenn, Wikimedia Commons

Babylon dazzles, destroys expectations

 Damien Chazelle (the director of La La Land and Whiplash) has returned with the new movie Babylon. The movie has 55% on Rotten Tomatoes and 60% on Metacritic. Mediocre ratings, but most viewers did not consider it mediocre; they either thought that it was a mess or that it was brilliant. 

   Opponents of the film consider it filled with style without substance, all bright colors and entertaining filmmaking to hide a lack of story. There is one undeniable thing about Babylon: it’s three hours long, and you won’t be bored for a second.

   It’s difficult to enter a movie without having the reviews already affecting your opinion. I can’t deny, I was convinced that it would be nothing more than mediocre prior to even entering the theater.

   I’m in the camp that considers the movie brilliant. Very few movies I write reviews for receive positive marks. Fewer receive sterling ones. But Babylon is flawless. The movie is about actors in the 1920s, but it is far from the average period piece. It’s a movie-person’s movie; one that shows the partying of the ‘20s, the excitement, the new glory of Hollywood.

   When I say it’s a movie-person’s movie, I mean that it appreciates the form in a masterful fashion. However, it remains accessible to ordinary audiences, as opposed to movies such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. 

   The style is brilliant, nobody can deny that. There’s very few movies quite like this. As for the story, it shows the emotional rise and fall of the different characters, their failures and successes, their happiest and saddest moments. The movie was so emotional, in fact, that I cried multiple times while watching. 

   That’s something that I rarely experience while watching a movie. Perhaps it’s merely because I’m a movie person, perhaps it’s simply because I love the form more than anything else in the world. But those that I viewed it with also shared my sentiment. 

   I watched it twice, and I would gladly watch it again. Babylon might not be subtle, but it IS excellent. Margot Robbie’s amazing acting in the leading role elevates the film to new levels, the cinematography was nothing short of beautiful, and the music was superb. But, most of all, the story was perfect. Never boring for a second, this was meant to be Damien Chazelle’s masterpiece. And it is.

   Ralph Waldo Emerson claimed that one could only achieve greatness when they are completely misunderstood, and that’s exactly what’s happened with Babylon. It isn’t likely to win many awards, it isn’t going to be acclaimed for a very long time. But twenty, thirty years from now, this will become a cult classic in the same vein as A Clockwork Orange and Fight Club.

   At the end of the day, it comes down to this: I haven’t seen a movie this perfect in a very long time. I doubt I will see another for an even longer time. 

Rating: 5/5