Having seen Baby Driver just yesterday, I have to say that this movie is well worth watching if you like the kind of movie that takes you back in time to, let’s say, the 50s. Ansel Eigort is truly engaging as the pure at heart, yet totally reckless, driver and the rest of the cast are bold, colorful and very unhinged.
Due to his tinnitus, which was caused by a car crash that killed his parents, Baby listens to music at all times so as to drown out the constant ringing in his ears. Like many of us, music gives him strength, especially when performing almost impossible heist getaways for hardcore crooks. Nothing seems to really get to Baby, not even police cars speeding along inches behind his own. With music, he finds a way out.
Nevertheless, things start to happen that Baby can’t unsee, things that not even music can block out. Violence ensues as Baby struggles to keep a hold on the few things he loves, as well as his own sense of morality.
Despite the many similarities between this movie and Ryan Gosling favorite, Drive, Edgar Wright had in fact based this movie on a music video he did for Mint Royale in 2003 in which a waiting driver plays music while his passengers rob a bank. Even so, I cannot help but think that the two movies are linked in some way, which by no means is a bad thing…
7. Both Female Leads Are Waitresses
Baby Driver’s Deborah is slightly younger than Drive’s Irene and possesses a wise naivety when it comes to her future. Like Irene, she wants more than to work in a diner and her longing for change is frequently highlighted.
Deborah’s background is a mystery, but she does suffer from loneliness, which is something Irene, as a single mother, often feels. It is this emotion that connects Deborah to Baby, much like Irene and the driver.
In both films, the diner is a meeting point for the lovers. Their retro decor also offers the couples a portal into the past, and therefore, a temporary escape from the outside world.
6. Both Protagonists Work For Criminals
Baby and the driver work for ruthless lawbreakers which mostly involves turning a blind eye. For both characters, it is the threat to their loved ones that compel them to fight for the right side.
By the end of Drive, we can only assume that the driver goes back to a life of crime, but by the end of Baby Driver, we know that Baby has quit the underworld for good.
While Baby is reunited with Deborah, the driver drives off into the distance because he must live a life of exile, not dissimilar to how he was living before meeting Irene.
5. Neither Protagonist Has Any Relatives
Both Baby and the driver lead isolated lives. Baby’s foster family upbringing caused him to grow up fast, and this, along with his tinnitus, keeps him from forming lasting bonds with people.
The driver also has a dark past but there is zero mention of his family. The absence of a concrete backstory and his strange lack of social awareness hint at a past too horrific for words.
4. Both Heroes Wear Awesome Jackets
As well as being a jacket fit for a metropolitan superhero – which is pretty much what the driver is – the scorpion jacket complements every landscape perfectly; the silver often catches the city lights or the glow of the sun, putting a visual emphasis on the driver.
In Baby Driver, Baby sports a laid-back black and white varsity jacket. The jacket possesses a boyish charm, much like Baby himself. Ansel Elgort has mentioned in interviews that both Baby and Deborah wear monochrome attires to contrast with their surroundings and look as though they are in a black and white movie. As well as putting a focus on the young couple, this also enhances their ‘old style’ romance.
3. Both Movies Depict Past Eras
Baby owns a collection of iPods but at no point are iPhones used in Baby Driver. Doc also gives him an old-ish cell-phone, so there is no solid evidence that the film is set in the present day. But it’s also possible that Doc, like Baby, merely dislikes using up-to-date technology. What’s more, Baby clearly has a fascination with old objects and he regularly plays music on his vinyl or cassette player.
Baby likes old music too and even woos Deborah in the old fashioned way; he calls Deborah at work or goes to see her in person instead of contacting her via text. Even Buddy and Darling’s relationship seems much too crazy for a contemporary world. In Baby’s world, the clothes, music, and visuals reek of the 50s. For Baby, music is his form of escape as he strives to create a universe that is unaffected by the dreariness of modern times.
Meanwhile, Drive is diluted with 80s memorabilia. The bold landscapes and haunting ‘echo-ey’ music form the perfect combo for this intense and extremely bloody film. At night, the neon lights create disturbing shadows and patterns which, mixed with the heart pumping music, makes your palms sweat even before the bloodshed begins.
The 50s elements of Baby’s Atlanta seem to bring him some peace of mind because he likes to look at his own life through a vintage lens. In contrast, the 80s hue of the driver’s city only increases his feelings of isolation and unrest.
2. Both Heroes Have A Dark Side
Both drivers have loved ones to protect which in turn, unleashes their dark side. The bloody gore in Drive portrays the driver’s violence-hungry nature. The driver is willing to do anything for Irene and her son Benicio, and not because he has to, but because he has a need, or a drive, to protect them for his own well-being as much as theirs.
The urge to kill doesn’t come as naturally for Baby as it does for the driver (even when there are loved ones involved) making him more relatable and less audacious than Drive’s anti-hero.
In the end, both men make a choice to leave their loved ones because they know that sticking around could potentially harm them. This is the one true sacrifice they make because they don’t get anything in return for doing it.
1. Both Films Have A Killer Soundtrack
If you haven’t run to a record store and bought both soundtracks, then you should seriously consider it. As previously discussed, Drive’s soundtrack adheres to the tension of the movie, with retro-electro sounding music that moves with the driver’s heartbeat.
With Baby Driver, it is clear that Wright wanted to show off some of his musical knowledge. And who can blame him? You will thoroughly enjoy the diverse range of music put together for this soundtrack, which includes songs that probably haven’t even crossed your radar!
Phew, I have come to the end of my list, so for now, I bid farewell. Until next time, and to all you drivers, stay safe…