Perhaps best described as a jack of all trades, Baby Driver is a delightful film that strings together elements of action, comedy, music, romance and a caper story perfectly. There is no one defining plot as the film progresses abruptly but seamlessly- it is both unpredictable and predictable. You know Baby (Ansel Elgort) is going to get in some serious sh*t with Doc (Kevin Spacey) and probably drag in Debora (Lily James); you just don’t know when and how. You know Bats (Jamie Foxx) is a disturbing member of the team, but you never know what he’s going to do next.
Baby carries around an endless supply of shades, from wayfarers to rimless sunglasses. He has different ipods for particular moods; the pink jewelled one is meant for happy days. He makes mix tapes from recorded conversations and strangers singing. He is a carer for his mute and deaf foster father and a romantic at heart. He has earbuds on 90% of the time to drown out the hum in the drum from his partial hearing impairment. Oh, and he is a heist driver, and a devil behind the wheel.
Baby falls in love with Debora, a waitress in a diner whose dream is to “head west on 20, in a car [she] can’t afford, with a plan [she doesn’t] have”. Baby’s flirtatious attempts and their sappy romance is quite the crowd-pleaser, but the show is not your typical boy-meets-girl movie. The hiccups that get in the way of their puppy love involve Bonnie and Clyde parallels, Buddy (Jon Hamm) and Darling (Eiza Gonzalez), psychopath Bats who “[does] drugs to support a robbery habit”, and the manipulative Doc.
Baby Driver conjures a complex mix of feelings from the audience and its characters exhibit paradoxical behaviour, contributing to the intricacy of the film – Baby’s cool and composed exterior has him unashamedly dancing and playing air violins behind closed doors while plugged into music and ruthless crime boss Doc has been revealed to watch Disney films based on his Monsters, Inc. references in the dialogue.
The film has its fair share of car and bullet-dodging action, betrayal, revenge, refreshing dialogue and old-fashioned charm. It has captured the zeitgeist of flip phones, life-defining messages on a paper napkin and purple Cadillacs. Baby Driver has undoubtedly set itself apart from other movies and may just be one of my favourites for the year.
By: Violet Koh