Some have called the conclusion of Babylon the most revolting in cinematic history.

Sarah Joseph
Sarah Joseph
8 Min Read
Babylons Ending
Babylons ending

It’s clear that moviemakers are concerned about the industry’s long-term viability. The three-hour Avatar sequel is James Cameron’s way of requiring the general public to give Imax entertainment another try.

In The Fabelmans, Steven Spielberg provides a fictionalized account of his early interest in the enchantment of the cinema. And Olivia Colman in Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light gushes in a wacky way about the magic of seeing a movie at the theater, just like the infamous Nicole Kidman commercial, but with more heart.

If the conclusion of Babylon is any indication, though, Damien Chazelle has the greatest reason to be concerned.

Babylon'S Ending Might Just Be The Most Nauseating In Film History


Babylon’s last sequence, a nauseatingly sugary montage of excerpts from many great films throughout history, is another another homage to the glory of cinema.

The films range from the silent era’s Un Chien Andalou and The Passion of Joan of Arc to the modern day’s Tron, Terminator 2, The Matrix, and the shockingly original Avatar.

An “explosive exaltation of cinema,” this section has been described as a “visual assault” that includes grotesque views of celluloid-developing liquid. But that sounds more like the cinematic equivalent of “FILM! FILM! ARGHHH I BLOODY LOVE FILM!” to me.

Babylon'S Ending Might Just Be The Most Nauseating In Film History


Fair enough if you can appreciate Chazelle’s audacity here, but seeing a Na’vi come up in a movie from the filmmaker of Whiplash and La La Land caused me to spasm so much that my posterior really swallowed itself.

More information is required to comprehend the nature of my severe reaction. To all intents and purposes, Babylon is a film about the successes and failures of four people in the film industry during the Roaring Twenties.

Hollywood A-lister Jack Conrad (Brad Pitt) sees his star power dwindling as the industry shifts from silent to sound filmmaking. Nellie LaRoy (Margot Robbie) is a schizophrenic rising star in the entertainment industry who quickly realizes she is way over her head.

Babylon Ending Explained (In Detail) – United States


There’s Manny Torres (Diego Calva), a film assistant who works his way up to becoming a studio president. Sidney Palmer (Jovan Adepo) is a skilled trumpeter who grows disillusioned with the music business due to the racism he encounters there.

In these people, we see the seedier side of Hollywood, from the constant production of bad movies to the vicious competition for stardom to the wild parties where mountains of cocaine, crowds of ejaculating men, and exploding elephant testicles are the norm.

What an intriguing premise! Yes, indeed. I’m pleased to report that 74% of Babylon was enjoyable to me. My initial reaction was that it had the potential to be the greatest movie ever. However, that finale was a downer.

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It turns out that Babylon is nothing more than a twisted take on the story first told in the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain. An elderly Manny visits a theater to watch this film and quickly realizes that his harrowing Hollywood experience has been transformed into a Gene Kelly-led musical comedy.

As Manny sobs, the camera pans across the crowd and shows a sea of faces that are noticeably more upbeat than his. They’re having fun watching it!

The camera then moves to a position directly over the audience, allowing us to look down on the tops of their heads. Or, as we’re supposed to understand it, a view of the top of our own heads from above.

Babylon' Review: Imagine 'Singin' In The Rain,' But Rancid And Cynical | Mashable


Yes, at this very moment, we are meant to experience a sense of being “seen,” as if a huge, warped mirror had been hung from the ceiling so that you could look down at yourself as you engaged in a morally repugnant behavior: that of being a mindless spectator.

Just what is the point here? I can’t say for certain. Unless of course the point is to make the glum observation that, more than ever, society needs movies to keep its citizens sedated and submissive. Keep 2019 in mind, as that’s when the third Avatar will hit shelves.

Anyway, the aforementioned hellish movie montage follows this mildly disrespectful shot. An explosion of color. It sounds like jazz is playing. Head shape shifts for Robert Patrick.

Babylon'S Ending Might Just Be The Most Nauseating In Film History | Flipboard


Amazingly, towards the end of it all, Manny’s sobs have turned into tears of delight. He has been turned into a zombie and is currently watching Singin’ in the Rain with the rest of the zombies.

Chazelle claims that this is supposed to be Manny’s “moment of self-realization.” The director told Entertainment Weekly, “[He’s] pondering on his place in the greater scheme of things.”

And his position as if it were only one frame in an infinite reel of celluloid that is the history of this art form. To be honest, you’re not wrong if you find that to be a tad pompous.

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However, I will continue my explanation anyway. Careers are transient, as are the lives of Hollywood stars. That’s terrifying and maybe even discouraging on some way.

On the other hand, it’s reassuring to know that you’re a part of something greater than yourself, and here is where Manny, perhaps, finds some solace at the end. Being even a small part of that is being a part of something truly unique and eternal.

So long as he got to be a part of such a great profession, the overdosed actors, dead movie extras, and substandard films were all worth it for Manny, the closing scene seems to suggest.

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Stranger still, we, the audience, are expected to empathize with him despite not knowing him personally. Babylon basically asks us to praise cinema after showing us how cynical, soulless, and lousy it can be for three hours and nine minutes.

Please understand that I am a huge Chazelle fan. I think Whiplash is the best movie ever made about jazz drumming. And after the credits rolled on La La Land, I called my significant other and rambled on for two hours about how wonderful it was.

But Babylon, especially its climax, feels grossly misguided; it’s just another self-satisfied Hollywood imitation that makes you heave rather than weep. I, like the rest of humanity, enjoy the occasional chance to escape reality. But when a movie’s ending tries to shove that love down my throat, I reach for the nearest popcorn bag and fill it to the brim with vomit.

Hi, fellow readers! So glad you found my little writing nook on the internet. I am a freelance writer, occasionally moonlighting as a digital marketer as well. I love to read, mostly focusing on high-fantasy and thrillers. Here, on Geekybar, I share my thoughts and views on breaking and recent news form all around the world. Oh, and I LOVE covering all the celeb gossips so stick around for some really interesting stuff!
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