“He’s loony. He just likes his tunes”. That is probably the best way to describe Baby Driver, the titular character in Edgar Wright’s high-octane, high-drama action thriller. Add to that driving cars, and you get an exciting combination worthy of anchoring a story. As is the case with its titular protagonist, ‘Baby Driver’ is fueled by electric music and a pacy background score. It acts as the perfect companion to Wright’s quick-cut style that almost leaves the viewer breathless in certain scenes. The exhaustive style doesn’t hold back and keeps at you until the very end. There aren’t many filmmakers who understand the significance of music quite like Wright. The tunes in the background aren’t ancillary props used to fill gaps, but become the very element of the storytelling process.
‘Baby Driver’ boasts of a stellar cast, one that is tailor-made for an action movie. It balances the forces and personalities of its stars to render an insatiable blend of eclectic styles that has a universe of its own. Ansel Elgort, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm are among the many stars who make an appearance. ‘Baby Driver’ is primarily a love story, which it disguises for quite some time, almost until the end. Overall, the film might feel to be confused in what it really is. That is where Wright’s skills as an auteur save the movie from becoming a hapless mess. Unlike other Wright films, though, ‘Baby Driver’ only finds humor in little spurts, not inherent humor that often characterizes his work. Dry-comedy has been a perennial feature of his films and ‘Baby Driver’ is no different. Let us explore more about what the film meant exactly.
‘Baby Driver’ is about its titular character, who is a getaway motorist. He lives with his affectionate deaf foster father and works with fellow tenant Doc, an expert strategist who carries out heists in banks and stores. Baby indulges in Doc’s plans purely on the basis of an incident from his childhood. Doc’s plans work because of Baby’s efficiency and dexterity in balancing speed with deception. He is, therefore, an indispensable part of the heists. The backstory reveals Baby compensating Doc for damaging his car. With one last mission to go, Baby finally dreams of getting out of the mess after meeting the love of his life, Debra. Baby’s incomprehensibility assumes evidentiary importance in this mission, where almost the whole crew is changed, except Bats, played by Jamie Foxx.
The new crew -Baby, Bats, and couple Buddy and Darling- are supposed to purchase illegal arms before their mission. Bats realizes that the dealers are cops in disguise and opens fire. In the ensuing tussle, all the cops are massacred and the four members of the crew escape. The news agitates Doc who reveals the dirty cops were on his payroll and a part of the plan. Inclined to cancelling the plan, Baby convinces Doc to go ahead with it. As the members prepare to give shape to their plans, Buddy and Bats discover the various mixed tapes that Baby has made -from conversations of the past and present- to make funny songs. The two, though, take his actions as that of an informant and prepare to kill him and Joseph. After Baby is confronted and brought for trial to Doc, he pleads innocence and convinces the crew of his harmless intentions.
During the heist, Baby plans to escape with Deborah, who reciprocates his feelings. Unbeknownst to the crew, Baby plans to ditch them and leave this business for good. During the mission, Bats’ inhumane tendencies disgust Baby after he murders an innocent officer, and the latter refuses to drive. Indignation, Bats hits him with a shotgun and orders him to drive them away. Baby does so and rams the car into a truck that kills Bats. During a shootout with the police, Darling gets shot and dies, as Buddy and Baby make it through. Incensed at the loss of his loved one, Buddy blames Baby for Darling’s death and vows revenge.