Starring Brinsley Forde, Karl Howman, Trevor Laird, Archie Pool, Mel Smith, Brian Bovell, David N. Haynes
(7-Very Good Film)
Gritty. Compelling. Foreign.
Alan: You got too much of this.
Alan: Especially for a coon. I don’t like moneys who get too clever in my garage.
South London, 1980. A group of young men from immigrant backgrounds live and go about their days as their xenophobic neighbors tell them to get lost. Blue (Forde), their leader, chases his dream of being a reggae DJ while working a menial job at a repair shop. He, along with his group of friends, is about to be pushed to the limit. Babylon unfolds naturally and even though the course of the story follows along the same lines as popular melodrama, it always feels real; authentic. I suppose that’s in part because of the non-professional but excellent performances. It’s also a triumph of direction and writing. This is a fascinatingly foreign culture and setting to me and Babylon captures it well. If the film leads to a familiar conclusion, on the strength of the storytelling, I’d call it inevitable rather than predictable.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-