Tag Archives: Margot Robbie

Film Review: Babylon (2022)


In 1926, a Mexican immigrant Manuel ‘Manny’ Torres gets involved with Nellie LaRoy in a wild crazy party run by a film studio executive. Soon, Manny gets a job in the studio and Nellie becomes a star. But fates begin to change when the golden silence meets its voice and the pictures go talkie.


Babylon is a time traveler to America where the booming period of the silent era was soon meeting its end. By that time, many actors and filmmakers had found success and earned a lot of money because watching silent films across America was still fresh. I am talking about feature films in America that began in 1915 when ‘The Birth of a Nation‘ was released.

So this film is not based on a real-life event but is inspired by a few stories of that period. Director Damien Chazelle briefed the audience and puzzled into a story. The purpose is to show that many successful artists and production companies of the silent era couldn’t make it and got liquidated. They lost their way, got vanished. Some tried to work in other business lines, some began to work hard for bread and butter, and some committed suicide.


The film tries to settle the audience in a mesmerizing dramatization of shooting a war scene and the struggle behind arranging the camera and managing the crew in a broad daylight. Shooting a film one hundred years ago was tormenting.

I particularly liked the sequence where Nellie had to shoot in a studio where something repeatedly messes up and has to improve in retakes without any certainty of any error in extreme heat.


A scene where Manny is shocked to witness the audience going berserk in joy about a talkie scene was accurate to the actual footage Damien Chazelle used here. A few of you may have gotten the idea but let me tell you that this was a historic moment during the proceedings of the 1927 film ‘The Jazz Singer‘ when Al Jolson said “Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet”. These were the first spoken words in any feature film. And that marked the end of the silent era.

It was extremely important to show this moment to the audience and I believe it was a fabulous shot.


Were the parties that wild as depicted in the opening sequence? Not sure to what level of craziness can bewilder into assuming it is accurate. It was like The Great Gatsby meets The Wolf of Wall Street one hot evening. I was just lost in a marvelous production and costume designing, and heavily detailed choreography.


Another vital fact from the 1920s Babylon captures is the controversial ‘Blackface‘. It was a kind of makeup to portray a caricature of a black person. Jazz trumpeter Sidney Palmer is requested to use blackface to make his skin further dark for the Southern audience. It was heartbreaking to see Sidney’s reaction. It was an insult and who knows, how often this happened in those times.


Amongst all the performances, Margot Robbie has the standout performance. That display of incredible body language, and mental breakdown, she is a beautiful and exceptional actress. And I feel sorry for her. She deserved the nomination for Best Actress at the Oscars but couldn’t make it perhaps because the film failed at the box office. And this is what I do not like. If the film flops, so goes the chance of getting nominated.


Tobey Maguire plays James McKay in Babylon from Paramount Pictures.

Babylon was financed at nearly $80 million dollars but grossed only $50 million, not domestically but worldwide. This is an outrageous business.

Now, why the film failed at the box office? Screen time is the biggest reason that clocks around 190 minutes! Three hours and ten minutes of showing the audience the transition from silent to sound and how the main characters begin to fade. I am sorry but that is kind of lazy writing that will bore the audience to death.

Damien Chazelle was lost in presenting to us his visual artistry and his idea for glamour, sexuality, hedonism, and a few more. There were many scenes that were needless. The whole Tobey Maguire segment was a waste of time and contributed nothing to the story. In fact, what is the story of Babylon? Maybe I was lost in gazing at Margot Robbie that I didn’t question the story to myself.


Babylon is a beautiful distraction. Perhaps, the film works better if it is rewritten as a musical. Deservingly nominated for both costume and production design. Should have also been nominated for Best Editing. It is a massive blunder! 

Babylon wants us the see the shining stars falling from the sky and fading in the proceeding. It is like our lives; we will gloom once we age. It also shows that if you do not keep it with the world, you will lose the path. The acceptance will diminish. The remembrance will suffer amnesia.

RATING: 6.5/10



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Film Review: Suicide Squad (2016)


The third chapter of the DC Universe, Suicide Squad, is itself a suicidal and wasteful event coinciding the events of BatSup and parallel to the events happening in the upcoming Justice League (JL) film. The screenplay of the first 30 minutes of the screen time is faster than Barry Allen’s speed. Actually, a roller coaster ride where you try to adjust yourself to the altitude but have to do nothing but scream. The viewers will meet the same fate in this period of half an hour and it will look like a 30-minute over-exaggerated trailer.

No matter how slow-and-sound was the beginning of director David Ayer‘s Fury, this is the contrary. Keeping in mind this is such a major franchise and a freshly baked existence of some Suicide Squad comprised of dangerous super villains, the makers should have properly introduced these characters and build it to our understanding. They just didn’t define these people and kept them raw to the viewers.

My first and primary objection towards the film basically is the reason of the making of Suicide Squad. After the BatSup events, was the creation of a super villains squad necessary? Absolutely not! It never made any sense. A.R.G.U.S. intelligence officer, Amanda Waller‘s plan to assemble Task Force X for a top secret mission makes you think for a moment that the whole story or the film could have been skipped for the sake of some other introductory origins-based film on any iconic superhero.


Hardly a 5-second cameo of Barry Allen indicates the parallel connectivity of the upcoming JL film. The trailer of JL which was released a few months ago showed Barry accepting Bruce Wayne‘s offer to join a team of superheroes and here we see him helping A.R.G.U.S. to catch his enemy, Captain Boomerang. Another possibility to Barry’s cameo is that A.R.G.U.S. may have known Barry before Bruce hired him due to the fact that Amanda passed government files to Bruce which are based on metahumans that included pages on Barry and Arthur. In any case, it was a very short cameo but an interesting hint.

One of the major expectations from the film was the introduction of Batman’s most famous arch-enemy, Joker played by Jared Leto. 8 years after the events of Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight involved Heath Ledger‘s version of Joker. Sadly the Leto one doesn’t come to the expectations after all the hype and legacy which Heath left on us. Joker’s involvement to the film is highly questionable. Not that the onscreen appearance of Joker is quite less than expected but the character’s involvement in the story of Suicide Squad doesn’t justify. Joker simply has no prominence in the film due to the fact his role is short for a reason.

Attached to Joker is the origin of Dr Harleen Quinzel. That famous interview with Joker in his cell which made her Harley Quinn is extremely short. The scene deserved a lengthy interview and expanding the after-effects could have given much a deserving screen-time to both from the origins. Shockingly, the entry of Joker in the film was very very ordinary.


Another minus of the film is the script which offers Batman and Joker sharing the same screen but does not confront. The mystery behind Robin‘s torn suit in BatSup film is still enclosed for God knows what reason. When the stories of different films in the same universe are interconnected in the same timeline, the balance of longevity should be cohesive. Robin’s death deserved a minor flashback in the film to solidify Joker’s involvement in the film.

Is there anything impressive about the film? Yes! The music department of the film has much to offer than the story and continuity. Academy award winning musician, Steven Price has produced a very impressive musical score with many attractive soundtracks fitting your mood with the scenes. The visual effects and costume designs are remarkable.

Performance wise, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is the clear winner. Her depiction of madness to the character is the one that steals the show. Paul Dini, the creator of the character has highly praised Margot’s role. Viola Davis as Amanda Waller is another major impressive number as she continues to impress the viewers in recent years from the ABC show How To Get Away With Murder. Will Smith as Deadshot and Cara Delevingne as Enchantress were average performers. The rest were below par. Mid-credit scene is quite interesting which connects the building of the Justice League.


If Suicide Squad was the priority to produce after the events of BatSup, then the film badly lacked heavy writing. The characters are not detailed and the story itself is flat to the connectivity. Yes, it is entertaining with the flavour of humour added but then I would state the obvious that it is the script which attracts the viewers, not the proposal of adding humour for the sake of filling cinema houses. David Ayer’s direction is a question mark and nowhere to the level of excellence where he made Fury.

The problem between the shared universe is now the artistic creativity. There is a tremendous difference of pace and mode in both films, BatSup and Suicide Squad. If BatSup is dark and slow, then Suicide Squad is the contrary. When you shape a universe with different storylines and characters to describe and shot, the momentum is highly required to balance the films and bridge the gaps. Being the initial phase of DC extended universe, every film is playing a different note altogether. The continuity and conclusion of BatSup directly connect with the upcoming JL film but before the film releases, the producers will educate you the whos and whys of Diana Prince in next installment. The viewers who do not read comic books on these iconic superheroes have no luxury of understanding these powerful dudes but have to struggle and understand them after watching JL as the solo films on Barry and Arthur are bizarrely slated after JL. In the same case, the viewers who have never read about the team of super-villains in comics are and will be completely at a loss while watching the film and making it look overstuffed. DC/WB people must consider changes in their strategy and forget about catching a supersonic train which takes them to their rivals.

Ratings: 4/10


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