After harping on about how much I loved seeing movies on my own, I went back out last night to watch Baby Driver with company. While I’d been severely tempted to sneak into Baby Driver after my screening of The Big Sick I held off. I’d promised my girlfriend I’d see one of them with her and, much as I love the cinematic experience, I love her more. Well, it’s a different kind of love. Like comparing the love you harbour for a child and how much you cherish burritos. It’s the gun-to-your-head choice that’s easy enough, but loving one doesn’t invalidate your love for the other. That being said, if your child gives you an ultimatum between them and eating burritos ever again, dump that child in a river and find yourself a sweet as fuck burrito.
If I didn’t mention it, the “company” was my girlfriend.
Zero spoilers, Baby Driver was exactly the film I wanted. Hugely stylised, slick and immaculately crafted. The rhythm of the film was in no way limited to the soundtrack (which has already soared up the iTunes charts, of course). It twisted and turned to its own beat. The choreography extended beyond action scenes to give the whole movie a glorious sense of harmony. When (not if) you see it, you’ll understand what I mean, but it’s been so meticulously composed that it’s hard not to walk away slack jawed in awe. Perfect performances all around with a cast of both old favourites and up-and-comers. It’s a film that’ll have you alternating between fits of laughter and white-knuckled clutching at the seat while you wait for your heart to catch up.
One amazing experience wasn’t enough, so my girlfriend and I sneakily crept into The Big Sick while nobody was looking.
I’d already seen it, but I knew it’d be a perfect fit for her tastes. Plus then I’d finally have someone to talk to about it. I usually have no qualms about sneaking into something, but the particular cinema we visited had small theatres that filled up quickly. My sympathy was somewhat mitigated by the fact that they’d dedicated two rows to “prime seating”, exclusive seats that cost another $2 or so per ticket. They’d also crammed an extra row at ground level where there’s usually space for thoroughfare in front of the seating. You know what? Fuck those guys. No regrets.
Once again, zero spoilers. The film was fantastic, even second time around. It gave me a deeper appreciation for structure, how the scenes stacked together. Taking a more analytical approach, it was nice to note how earned all the relationships were. Pay-offs came after trials and actions had consequences. There were nuances to dialogue with a lack of black and white villains. Even smaller characters felt fleshed out in a manner that’s all too rare. A lot of niche, but familiar faces had roles amongst big names and heritage performers. In the second screening there was an obviously Pakistani viewer who got some of the cultural jokes that everyone else missed, which was such a boon to experience. That sensation of understanding that not everything is for me, that there can be neat little jokes hidden for particular audiences, was so refreshing. It reminded me of the experience of seeing Hasan Minhaj perform Homecoming King live (which is also on Netflix now, I believe). That’s pretty high praise, trust me.
If you can, go out and support innovative, original cinema. We’re spoiled rotten having two such quality films getting summer play. Ditch the sun and enjoy the air conditioning, all while talking in a superb flick.