‘Baby Driver’ makes music the main character

There’s always one characteristic that helps shape the movies we see, and that’s the music that runs behind them. Most motion pictures are usually mixed with an equal amount of both orchestrated symphonies made especially to heighten scenes of sensitivity or romantic interest with a few popular songs or period appropriate tracks during moments of socialization, partying, or road tripping. Usually, the track list for a film provides ignored background music to keep things cinematic, other times, the music is one of the main characters. In the case of Baby Driver, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), the music behind the film was one of the most significant aspects of the film’s entire aesthetic, making the dramatic explosions and visually pleasing neon diner scenes simply some good eye candy for the soundtrack that shapes it.

Music can be one of the most forgotten aspects of a film. It can also be one of the most quintessential. The Graduate, Garden State, Dazed and Confused, and even Clueless all have iconic soundtracks stuffed with tracks that pair insanely well with the most well-known scenes from each. After all, what is Almost Famous without a barefoot Penny Lane sliding around an empty stage on rose petals to Cat Stevens?  But Baby Driver is a little different. While characters usually ignore the music that plays behind them, as it’s is largely unimportant for their plot or character development, Baby Driver uses it’s incorporated soundtrack to express emotion, build a story, and speak for its characters. The music isn’t there to add ambiance, it’s the whole point of the movie. Lead character and getaway driver Baby, played by Ansel Elgort, communicates through sound, speaking more with his music taste than he ever does with his mouth, name dropping oldies for over two hours to express his feelings of love or anger, but…

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