I didn’t know much about Babylon going into it. I just heard it was about the early days of Hollywood, and that was it. I wasn’t all that bothered, to be honest. I watched it mainly to do a review, so here we go…

The movie stars Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Jean Smart, Diego Calva, Lucas Haas, Eric Roberts, and, to be honest, a lot of other people, and they are all excellent. It’s written and directed by Damien Chazelle, who’s best known for Whiplash. The synopsis for Babylon is:

“A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.”

The words “decadence and depravity” feature a lot in this movie, an awful lot, in fact I don’t think there are any scenes that do not feature decadence and depravity. The movie starts with a party and, let’s just say, there is a lot of decadence and depravity including girls peeing on men, drugs, and a midget riding a pogo stick that is shaped like a giant penis.


This is the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the movie goes beyond the “sexy parties” of the rich and takes you down the rabbit hole of the underbelly of Hollywood where the “parties” make Eyes Wide Shut look like a birthday party for a 10-year-old at a Chucky Cheese.

*Mild Spoilers*

Basically, Babylon is a massive piss take of Singin’ in the Rain. Well, I say piss take. It’s more like extracting the piss with a kidney dialysis machine. The story is about the rise of a young lady, Nellie, played by Robbie. It tells of how she becomes an actress in the movie industry, just like Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain.

But instead of having cheerful songs about how it’s the morning or how to make people laugh, it’s got parties where you have people from the movie industry snorting coke off the tits of a hooker. If Singin’ in the Rain is all sunshine and lollypops, Babylon is the complete opposite.

I say the opposite, but basically, Babylon probably does show how Hollywood was founded in all truth. There are stories about giving drugs to some of the kids to keep them working. Blonde showed how Marilyn Monroe was probably raped, on several occasions, during her career.

Babylon shows all this, but more tongue in cheek. It shows how people would die in battle scenes while filming some movies, only for everyone to say that the guy “stabbed himself with the spear”. A guy would walk around the sets with “peanuts”, which were actually drugs to keep everyone peppy.


The story shows how the invention of talking pictures changed everything, again, exactly like Singin’ in the Rain. In fact at one point Jack Conrad, Pitt’s character, has to sing the song Singin’ in the Rain. I properly laughed out loud at this, as it was just too funny.

The other great moment is when Nellie has to do her first talking scene. It’s played for laughs, like the Singin’ in the Rain version, but has a very antisemitic rant in the middle of it.

I won’t spoil too much more of the story of Babylon, but it is very interesting, funny and very dark. I was happy to follow each of the characters on their journey.

*A Bigger Spoiler*

At the end of the movie the main protagonist, Manny, played by Diego Calva actually goes to the cinema and watches Singin’ in the Rain. The impression I got is that the movie was based on the events of his, and Nellie’s, life through Hollywood.


I think this meant that Babylon thinks that Singin’ in the Rain is a spoof of Babylon, which is a spoof of Singin’ in the Rain. #inception

*End of Spoilers*

This movie was very well directed, with very long and complex shots where the actors are doing what they can to “act”, and they all do an amazing job.  I know I said that Triangle of Sadness was a well-directed movie, and felt like a breath of fresh air. This is another one.

I will say that it loses half a star because it’s 3 hours long. You could have shaved an hour off the script and still had a great movie. It’s a moviegoer’s movie, with lots of jokes about the industry and very self-aware of what it is.

Babylon is on Prime and some other streaming services now.


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