Let’s Drive, Baby!
A couple evenings ago, our group of friends accompanied Hannah and I to see the action movie Baby Driver. I feel like I have been so busy with life, in general, which might be the reason I hadn’t heard anything about this movie, its genre, actors, director, producers or even the movie title. To my neutral expectations’ surprise, the credits are rolling at the end of the film and all I can think is, “I may have just found one of my top 5 movies.”
You might be thinking I am slightly crazy. Yes, Ansel Elgort is a cheesy actor (we all saw the Fault In Our Stars, I know, bleh) but he stepped up his game. His awkward, cheesy personality fit in perfectly with the character of Baby, a good kid who just got stuck in a bad gig.
Edgar Wright has never been an eye-catcher for me. I haven’t watched a huge portion of his films, therefore I’ve yet to offer him a real chance until now. One aspect has definitely grown my respect for him as a director and as a music nerd: his music choices for this soundtrack.
This soundtrack, composed of nearly 30 songs, is diverse, classic, and consumed with pure nostalgia. Ranging from Queen, The Champs, and Simon and Garfunkel, this movie was filmed to fit these exact songs. One that is specifically so intriguing is Queen’s “Brighton Rock” due to the density of the song and it’s fast, upbeat rhythm.
The cinematographer and stunt coordinator had to work super hard to accommodate Wright’s requests. In an interview with Variety, Wright mentioned how he wanted his soundtrack to have “dramatic structure” even despite the difficulty it might bring for the rest of the crew. Hard work pays off. The Brian May guitar solo in “Brighton Rock” is in fact legendary. It deserved to have incredible action scenes to go along with it. The execution was superb.
The movie’s title “Baby Driver” came from Simon and Garfunkel’s song which is included in the soundtrack. Wright must have thought—Baby Driver, a young, getaway driver. That’s it!
The song “Easy” by the Commodores was actually chosen by Ansel as he used it as an audition piece, to which Wright loved so much he wrote it into the soundtrack. The song brings feels into the center of the soundtrack as opposed to the consistent heart-racing, blood-pumping rock music.
One song I wanted to mention that was in the film but not on the official soundtrack is “Debora” by T. Rex. The reason this song caught my attention so much revolved around the romance between Baby and Debora. In Baby’s attempt to show off his music connoisseur skills, he is surprisingly flustered to be corrected by Debora when he calls the band “TREX.” Score for the women. Also, it’s probably one of those moments where a first date might only remember it for 15 seconds, but you’ll be kicking yourself for the rest of your life? So cute and geeky.
The intro song: “Bellbottoms” by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion will become one of your favorite songs to workout to and walk down the streets to… TRUST ME.
11/10 would recommend this indie-like movie! See it, love it, then see it again!
My last comment, I promise. Can we just acknowledge the romanticizing of not only vinyl and cassettes, but also the old iPods? Those were the glory days. I need to find mine.