It's hard to tell where the chases end and the drama begins in this film. Equally hard is it to tell where the dancing ends and the stunts begin; or where the charm ends and the manic insanity begins; and so on. For starters, this is the most thoroughly made action flick since "Mad Max : Fury Road" that knows how to have fun with its setting. Turn that fun factor up a notch or two, throw in cheekiness and an interesting romanticism, and voila! As most critics are hailing it to be, "Baby Driver" feels like a musical where the music never pauses and the dancing is done by the actors, the cars, the stunt personnel, the camera, the editor's scissors, and so on. A soundtrack (music by Steven Price and other artists) reminiscent of Richard Linklater's best works becomes the base on top of which, the film pitches all of its various scenes. These scenes are cut with great energy by Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss, with nods to the notes and bangs of the songs playing in the background. Bill Pope's camera work is outstanding, keeping the viewer right in the middle of the action, and again, pacing itself in rhythm with the soundtrack. Capping it all together in style is a reasonably convenient plot by Edgar Wright that he directs with incredible passion and attention to cinematic detail. Wonderfully bubbling performances by Ansel Elgort, John Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez, Jamie Foxx, Lily James, and Kevin Spacey are just a bonus. It all does feel like a music video for a terrific rock opera! Out in cinemas now.
Some Afterthoughts (minor spoilers ahead) :
1. Every car enthusiast must have had atleast a moment or two where he was Baby in that red Subaru WRX STi appreciating his new car with some music while he dances to it in the driver's seat.
2. Every person who has lost his/her mother does carry his/her mom's essence in a virtual spiritual mixtape akin to Baby.
3. Kudos to the incredible stunt work in the film done by a long list of stunt drivers and professionals (refer IMDB for the list).
4. The romance in the film is another big pull: John Hamm and Eiza Gonzalez have crackling chemistry, and so do Ansel Elgort and Lily James. Reminds one off the steamy attraction between Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan from Nicholas Winding Refn's "Drive".
5. Sky Ferreira's version of Commodores' "Easy" from the film's soundtrack is a must-listen.
Atlantic City says so much about two people in a relationship, without saying too much.
A comedy that is fun, while being just good cinema in the first place.