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Criticism of ‘Babylon’: For and against Damien Chazelle’s film in the controversy of the month

The premiere of ‘Babylon’, Damien Chazelle’s new film, forces us to review the best and worst of a title that stars in our controversy of the month.

    In favor, by Ricardo Rosado

    Good news for moviegoers who want to enjoy themselves, prepare your best clothes for a festival of triumphs, failures and excesses as bombastic as only the mythological classic Hollywood is capable of providing. Intoxicated by another fascinating soundtrack by Justin Hurwitz, an accelerated Damien Chazelle tells us about his fascination with ‘Hollywood Babylon’, the fundamental book by Kenneth Anger, using a wonderful Diego Calva as a guide in a grotesque and bumpy odyssey.

    The worst: its embarrassing final minutes.

    As irregular as it is magnetic, ‘Babylon’ is an essential shot in which Margot Robbie and Brad Pitt not only know they are the brightest stars in the firmament, but also make it clear that they have enjoyed the experience as much as the most dedicated spectator to the refractory Chazelle, a filmmaker who continues obsessed with stressing that personal happiness does not allow success while, desperately, he tries to prove to himself that he has indeed achieved excellence. We may take advantage of him, but if he keeps throwing parties filled with overflowing mansions, filthy slums, wild film shoots, and performers willing to dance on the edge for applause before slipping off the edge, it’s easy to put up with his intoxicated spiel on the edge. coming out of the sarao in which we have had such a good time.

    brad pitt plays jack conrad and diego calva plays manny torres in babylon from paramount pictures

    Against, by Beatriz Martínez

    Damien Chazelle has always been an ambitious director, with an obsessive point just like his characters. There is nothing wrong with that, however, his films have always generated mixed opinions, as if there was something in them waiting to explode, a certain degree of unsympathetic arrogance. And that sensation is unleashed now without restraint in ‘Babylon’, in which it must be recognized that it bets big, on expressive madness, on plastic delirium, on bacchanalia and madness, but under all those layers that could seem attractive because of what is subversive in current cinema, end up getting lost through an absolutely megalomaniacal speech. In this case, his claim is to pay homage to cinema, placing his work at the level of the great masters who endure over time and go down in history, nothing more and nothing less. And for this, he resorts to self-indulgence, with an almost pathological need to compose memorable set-pièces, which, although they work independently, end up constituting empty pompous exhibitions amidst a chaotic and deliberately uproarious narrative.

    The best: the set-pièce of the bacchanalia.

    In the end, the noise remains, the images, the need to penetrate through them, to transcend, but nothing more. An exercise in superlative narcissism as hollow as it is irritating and amorphous.


    Direction: Damien Chazelle Distribution: Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Tobey Maguire, Li Jun Li Country: USA Year: 2022 Release date: 20-1-2023 Gender: Comedy drama Script: Damien Chazelle Duration: 189 min.

    Synopsis: Set in 1920s Los Angeles, it tells a story of ambition and inordinate excess that traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during a time of rampant decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.

    Source: Fotogramas

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