Does Babylon movie want us to leave the cinema on purpose?

Aga Byrczek
3 min readFeb 3
Photo by Jeremy Yap on Unsplash

A few days ago I went to the cinema to watch Babylon by Damien Chazelle. I didn´t know anything about this film, but it´s over 3 hours long. During the first hour, I was enjoying myself a lot and laughed like everyone else in the cinema. During the second hour, I was getting tired and confused about what is really this movie about. During the third hour, I was on my mobile taking notes, and my head was processing millions of ideas per minute, what is this movie really about.

Babylon is a multithreaded film, which is not difficult because they had to somehow occupy those 3 hours. (joke)

And now let´s get serious. My theory is that the movie was so long on purpose, to test the limits of the spectators. Not only limits of the human body sitting in the cinema hall, and a brain following the film´s logic, but also, and more importantly, limits of people to watch the injustice and abuse of power. The movie lasted over 3 hours because the authors hoped for the spectators to stand up and walk away, as a political statement that we don´t accept it. Because personal is political.

Hour 1 — Power is sexy

In the first hour of the movie, we get to know two young people who would do everything to work in the movie industry. We are showered with money, fame, power, sex, parties, and everything without limits. Those who have power abuse it, and those who don´t dream about it. Power is simply sexy. There are clear borders on who belongs where and acts accordingly. Even if we talk about bringing the fucking elephant to the party, no questions are asked.

The style of the movie during the first hour was supporting the message. It was very colourful, and a bit crazy, some would even call it magical. The spectators were enjoying and laughed a lot. In one moment, I even thought ¨wooow, I haven´t realized when the first hour passed¨.

Hour 2 — Normalizing violence

Fun finished. Action slowed down. Even colours lost power. There was some slight modification of power. Two protagonists from the first hour claimed the ladder of power relations, but those in power stayed on the top. We can observe how those who got the power, quickly adapted to the new situation. This is especially visible in the main…

Aga Byrczek

I write about social issues, mental health, fat phobia and micro aggressions. My mission is to raise awareness by writing ✊🏼