30 June 2017 | Cameronius_113
The style is the substance
Baby Driver was released in 2017 and directed by Edgar Wright. The film is about a young getaway driver named Baby (Ansel Elgort) who has been associated with a crime boss for most of his life and begins to partake in a series of heists which in exchange will provide him with the life that he wants.
Edgar Wright is without a doubt one of the most unique filmmakers working today and what makes each of his films clearly stand out from one another is how he incorporates style into each of his films, and I don't think there's ever been a case in any of his films where he has preferred style over substance. He uses the style aspect of the film to his advantage and essentially the style ends up creating the substance in his films, and this film is a prime example of that.
An interesting supplement to the film was the music which was evidently going to be frequently present as made clear by the marketing, however I was very impressed with how the music was integrated with the filmmaking itself; I very much appreciated the fact that it wasn't simply just there to make certain scenes/sequences more fun and entertaining or just to make more profits off of a soundtrack, and instead it was used to help develop multiple things about the film from the characters to the world that the film takes place in.
One of the big highlights of the film is of course the car chases which are easily among some of the best I've ever seen in a film to date. Not only were they excellently shot (no shaky cam), choreographed and also edited, the stylistic parts of the film really helped add the adrenaline to each sequence; from the very first scene, the build-up of music adds an unbelievable amount of tension and excitement all at once and when the chase finally begins you are immediately on the edge of your seat.
The performances are great all-around; Ansel Elgort does a great job as the main character of Baby and while he does have a quiet persona, it avoids turning him into a bland, lifeless character and instead the music and style of the film helps us relate to him with his inner passion and understand his character. Other notable performances include Jon Hamm in a great performance as quite a challenging character, Jamie Foxx in a great role and also Kevin Spacey being great as usual by just being himself essentially.
I know that I've mentioned the music and style multiple times but it is easily the most surprisingly important element of the entire film as it not only provides an entertaining backtrack to multiple sequences, it also helps realise plenty of the characters, Baby in particular; as I stated earlier his character doesn't speak much but we're able to learn so much about him as the music appears as some sort of demonstration of his personality and we learn everything we need to about the characters without the need for exposition to explain them. In conclusion, the style creates the substance.
The film retains an incredible pace throughout (a notable element in all Edgar Wright films) and also has a great deal of humour too, also in multiple places it goes in directions that you may not expect and cleverly avoids the clichés which makes for an even more thrilling ride.
Overall, Baby Driver was a constantly thrilling, excellently paced, expertly crafted film that uses the style to its advantage which creates a very unique film which will undoubtedly become a classic in later years. I highly recommend it.