"Babylon: A Disappointing Blockbuster Directed by Damien Chazelle



Babylon: The Disappointing Blockbuster

"Babylon," directed by Damien Chazelle and starring Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Diego Calva, was highly anticipated at the end of 2022. It was released in some countries until mid-January 2023, but despite its star-studded cast and prestigious director, it was a failure on multiple fronts. The film's revenue was only $28 million, far short of its $78 million budget, and it received poor ratings with only 56% of critics and 52% of the audience rating it positively on Rotten Tomatoes. It also failed to win any Golden Globes and was only nominated for three technical Oscars for sound, costume design, and music.

Furthermore, the movie received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, with some praising Chazelle's direction and the performances of the actors, while others criticized the story for being shallow and uninspired. Despite its high-profile cast and buzz surrounding its release, "Babylon" failed to live up to expectations and was considered a disappointment by many in the film industry. The poor box office performance and critical reception have cast doubt on the future prospects of the movie, leaving its fans disappointed and many movie-goers feeling underwhelmed.

Damien Chazelle: From Oscar-Winner to Disappointing Director - A Look at the Career of Hollywood's Rising Legend

Chazelle's success began with his film "Whiplash," which won three Oscars and was nominated for others, including Best Picture. Two years later, he returned with "La La Land," which nearly won the Oscar for Best Picture. Chazelle, who was only 31 years old at the time, was hailed as a new cinematic legend, known for his musical films like "Whiplash" and "La La Land."

To some, it came as a surprise when Chazelle chose to direct "First Man," a biographical and science fiction film about astronaut Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon. Starring Ryan Gosling and produced in 2018, "First Man" failed to connect with audiences and had modest box office returns. Despite being nominated for four Oscars, it only won Best Visual Effects. This was Chazelle's first stumble in what was previously a promising career.

After taking a four-year break, Chazelle returned with "Babylon," a film about cinema and Hollywood. This film was expected to bring Chazelle back to his former glory, but instead, it resulted in a failure on multiple levels and was considered a disappointment. Some attributed the failure of "Babylon" to Chazelle's departure from his area of expertise and his return to a genre that was not as successful for him.

The film "Babylon" takes place in the 1920s, during the transition from silent films to talking films. It follows two parallel stories: that of Jack Conrad (played by Brad Pitt), a successful Hollywood actor, and Nelly Laroy (played by Margot Robbie), a rising actress known for her boldness. Despite their success, both Conrad and Laroy find their careers declining with the advent of sound and talking films, as they become symbols of an outdated era quickly replaced by modern cinema.

Throughout the film, the audience is shown the ups and downs of their careers as they navigate the rapidly changing landscape of the film industry. Despite their initial success, Conrad and Laroy struggle to adapt to the new sound and talking films and find their fame fading. The film explores themes of fame, success, and the passage of time, as well as the difficulties of staying relevant in a constantly evolving industry. "Babylon" provides a fascinating look at the Hollywood of the 1920s and the challenges faced by actors and actresses during this time of transition.

The film "Babylon" tackles the familiar theme of the decline of silent film stars in the 1920s, a topic explored in films such as "Singin' in the Rain" and "The Artist". However, "Babylon" differentiates itself by its R rating, allowing for a more daring and realistic portrayal of Hollywood during this time period. The film departs from the idealized vision of Hollywood previously seen in similar works, offering a gritty and nuanced look at the extravagant and eccentric lives of cinema stars in the 1920s.

Director Damien Chazelle doesn't aim to reinvent the wheel, but instead offers his own unique perspective on this well-trodden subject matter. The film's R rating allows for a more mature and uncensored depiction of the lives of these actors and actresses, showing the decadence and excess of the time period in a way that previous films may have shied away from. With its top-notch cast, including Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, "Babylon" offers audiences a thrilling and raw look at the Hollywood of the 1920s, delving into themes of fame, success, and the challenges of adapting to change.

Babylon: A Muddled Mixture of Hollywood and Jazz Era Stories

While the film "Babylon" showcases Chazelle's admiration for the Golden Age of Hollywood and its stars, it falls short in providing a unique and fresh perspective on the story. The film seems to be a mere imitation of previous works, with slight modifications and a mature rating that adds boldness to the presentation. As a result, the film fails to captivate the audience in a new and exciting way, leaving the audience yearning for a fresh and innovative take on the story.

"Babylon" can be seen as a combination of old and new, where it takes advantage of the familiar elements of the golden era of Hollywood and mixes them with a more mature and realistic view of the lives of movie stars. However, the lack of originality and a fresh perspective may disappoint some viewers who are looking for something new and unique. In conclusion, "Babylon" may not be the masterpiece that many had hoped for, but it still manages to bring the audience into the world of Hollywood in the twenties with a unique twist.

The script for the film "Babylon" was plagued by disjointedness as it tried to merge two separate storylines: Manuel, a Mexican-origin young man struggling with his attraction to cinema, who becomes involved in Conrad's life and supports Nelly, and later dominates much of the narrative as a survivor of the cinematic storm. However, the director abruptly introduced a separate storyline about a marginalized African jazz musician during the transition to sound in cinema. This new story could have been a stand-alone movie, but in the current script it only added to the already confusing narrative.