I had struggled to understand the genre of this 90 minute piece when I had first saw the trailer, Babylon turned out to be half dark drama and half political satire. This was a key factor that battled throughout Babylon, an identity crisis.
One side of the story deals with the higher tier of the Metropolitan Police Force who have to deal with an unknown shooter sniping civilians on the streets of London. James Nesbitt was perfectly suited for the role of Chief Commissioner Richard Miller, whose dry Scottish accent and wise looks suit up to portray the side of the Met who try and steer clear of a scandal. The person who is trying to present the whole truth to the media is Liz Garvey (Brit Marling), an American who has a truthful mantra and struggles to fit in with the rest of the police force. She is played off rather weakly, maybe to reflect Nesbitt’s ignorance to her or just to act as a small voice trying to at under the truth.
The second half of the cast are the local police (the TSG). These are presented as swearing, amateur and clueless to what they actually should be doing. This is the comedic side of this otherwise serious drama, showing that the Police are human as well. A notable performance is by Adam Deacon who plays Robbie. Robbie is incredibly loud-mouthed and not like a normal police officer at all, grabbing a protester and almost punching him, before suddenly switching and shouting ‘I will verbally dominate you’.
This Drama is supposed to portray the link between the top dogs, the communications department and then the guys on the street. This comes to a high when the killer is finally killed and nobody wants to take responsibility for the action, highlighting the disorganisation within the police force.
Overall I believe this is Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong poking fun at the Metropolitan police, but it ultimately fell through. Maybe it was too up to date for the normal person watching to understand (as voiced by many complaints on Twitter). I can make a link back to the hard hitting reality of the sort of scenario portrayed when Lee Rigby was killed in Woolwhich.
This mini-film isn’t by far the best in some categories, but it was ambitious to try and blend the comedy and drama up. Many jokes and serious moments make me think that this is one of the best things I watched on television this year; but i’m not really sure why.
Rating: 4 out of 5