9 July 2017

Why We Need Baby Driver Now

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On the 14th Of June 2017 the UK received news of the Grenfell Tower disaster. After complaining and complaining about the state of their building and its lack of safety procedures, a tower block in one of the richest parts of the country went up in flames and killed so many of its working class occupants that the final death toll is still not expected to be known until 2018. In the ensuing shit-storm of finger-pointing and twat-blaming it was revealed that in 2016 the building had been given an £8.7 million refurbishment which focused less on making it liveable as it did on making it more visually tolerable for the surrounding richer people. God forbid the value of their often-unoccupied homes be affected by the sight of a living poor person. Since then it has subsequently turned out that this rejuvenation may in fact have been partly to blame for the way in which the fire spread so quickly, which makes me genuinely suspicious that this was a actually a secret Government plan to both kill off the poor whilst preparing the land ready to have more mansions built up for the hideously rich. I'm honestly waiting for the news that the survivors have since been re-homed in the Summer Isles, inside a giant fucking Wicker Man. And anybody that claims they can't picture Theresa May dancing around it next to a befrocked Christopher Lee is also a fucking liar.

I only mention this here because right now it seems that society is quite literally about to crumble with this incident being perfectly symbolic of everything that's wrong. The divide between rich and poor is opening faster and wider than Ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage's mouth whenever there's a risk that Donald Trump might expose his tiny loser cock... and it seems that people are finally waking up to it. The world is in chaos and if the history of Hollywood has taught us anything it's that during times of political or social upheaval, the musical is a genre that'll find it easier to spaff out its creative juices than at any other time. Just look at the Great Depression in which people flocked to see the fancy dance-y prancing of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire as a way of distracting themselves from the shit-coated misery of life. Or consider that Busby Berkley, one of the most famous choreographers of all time, developed his method of having people piss about to music after applying the drill training-level of precision that he'd experienced throughout his time as a First World War soldier to his dance numbers. It takes a brave man to fight in a war but an even braver one to then announce their desire to hand back their gun in order to focus a revolution on musical theatre.

With all this in mind it seems that now is quite literally the perfect time for Edgar Wright's Baby Driver which takes the idea of a musical and then applies it to an action movie about a young getaway driver. Imagine if Walter Hill's The Driver crashed through the vibe of Tony Scott's True Romance after taking a shot of Singin' In The Rain to the bollocks. The lead character of Baby was in a car accident as a young child which left him orphaned and plagued with tinnitus. Baby has a permanent ringing in his ears which is kind of like what you get after watching one of Michael Bay's crappy Transformers films but minus the sense of shame and brain damage that accompanies that. To drown the sound out, Baby keeps his iPod plugged into his ears at almost all times with the soundtrack perfectly picked to match his emotions and actions. The film opens with him driving up to, waiting during, and then escaping from a robbery which is entirely choreographed to The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. In the way that toilet doors assume that all men like the colour blue and wear top hats, and that all women like the colour pink and wear dresses that emphasise their tits, a cliched world might assume that guys like action films and girls like musicals and romance. In which case Baby Driver is the film for you because it balances those two elements with absolute perfection.

For those who refuse to conform to stereotype and like what they like regardless of which parts of their body dangle and jiggle the most then Baby Driver is the film for you too.. because as a whole it's absolute fucking perfection. In our miserable shitty world we all need some down time and for those people struggling to find a reliable dealer then it's films like this that can offer that much needed escapism. Not only that but Baby Driver earns bonus points in terms of being the spoonful of sugar that'll help erase the bitter taste of real life in that it's also essentially a fairy tale. I mean, if we were to quickly look at both the films characters and the archetypes laid out by Propp after his extensive study of Russian folktales, then we can see that Baby is 'The Hero', his girlfriend Debra is 'The Princess', Kevin Spacey's head bank robber is 'The Dispatcher', and both Jamie Fox and John Hamm's rent-a-pricks take their turns at being, 'The Villain'. Then there's the fact that it's actually a pretty simple story about a man oppressed by the money orientated system that he finds himself trapped in until discovering the girl of his dreams and deciding to rebel. With wages falling behind the rate of inflation and the professions that our society relies upon being forced to use food-banks, whilst the corporate elite refuse to pay their fair share of taxes and work us harder than ever, it's not hard to see how the story of Baby Driver might be a fairytale that we lowly non-billionaire plebs might find aspirational and uplifting.

Not only is this a film that's perfect for our time right now but it's also one we should pay close attention too. In many ways, Edgar Wright's career has been building to this point with the blend of action and musical having been hinted at in his previous work. There was obviously the scene in which Shaun and his friends batter an old man to death to the sound of Queen in Shaun Of The Dead however even earlier than that he directed a music video for the band Mint Royale that essentially became the blueprint for Baby Driver. So not only is this film a passion project for a director that's passion is more car chases and loud music than it is the standard depressing subjects that seem suspiciously like a filmmakers attempt at taking a chubby one for an Oscar. But his previous films have seemingly predicted were our society is going. Hot Fuzz used the recurring line, “Make Sandford great again” over half a decade before the human bagpipe of shit that is Donald Trump vomited something similar over his smeg-spread of a presidential campaign. And The World's End showed the pre-Brexit audiences what might happen when a short sighted pisshead is able to drive the world into a complete depression after denouncing a unifying system of authority. Is Baby Driver the first of his films to be released at the perfect time as opposed to ahead of its time or does Baby Driver show us where we're heading too? I haven't a fucking clue right now but I know that I loved every second of it when I saw it and with things as grim and helpless as they feel right now I was simply grateful for every single second. Thanks for reading motherfuckers, and see you next time.

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