Edgar Wright is a Writer/Director from UK. Most of the average moviegoers might not know who he is, but for some of us movie zombies he is a fresh meat,whom we can’t get enough of. Edgar Wright is one of the few geniuses who still makes movies which has immense repeat value (which rarely happens today wherein “One time watch” is the new motto for 100 crore success) just to make sure that you squeeze out every bit of fun. Most of his films are drugs that you feel blessed to be addicted to. It has so much to offer and every time you re-watch you tend to notice little nuances and references that you might have missed the last time.
Edgar Wright started his career with A Fistful of Fingers (1995) which in his own words is not the greatest thing that he ever made and burst out laughing while confessing this. But learning what not to do while making that confession ,he moved on to doing a TV series one of which is Spaced – an absolute brilliant sitcom which paved the way to what will turn out to be “The Cornetto Trilogy“. The first of which is Shaun Of The Dead. Edgar’s storytelling style is fast & zappy. He is like Quentin Tarantino on crack. One of the reasons for the repeat value is the insane style of unveiling details because when you watch it you might miss something with all the multiple camera cuts & quick exchange of words. Even a simple bar conversation is not spared, it has multiple camera cuts and rapid exchange of words. But it’s done with so much finesse that you will rarely be distracted by it and mostly you will be on track. What is credible is that despite the amount of multiple cuts that is used in a scene, you rarely miss a expression of an actor or a moment, every bit is captured. Also, the conversation seem so spontaneous but all of it is rehearsed 2-3 weeks before the shooting actually begins which makes it look all so easy.
His stories have a very unique way of unveiling always hinting about what it eventually is going be about. Like in Shaun Of The Dead the news broadcast, the man eating a bird while Shaun’s traveling in the bus, it is always teasing you. It generally takes the end of first act to say viola that’s the direction its going to go into. Be it in The World’s End which while at the end of first act you do fully realize that it is a alien’s invading, same is the case with Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End. This is one of the points that binds this Trilogy is well apart from of course friendship, pints cornetto & comedy which eventually merges the movies Shaun Of The Dead(Zom-Com) Hot Fuzz (Action/Comedy) & The World’s End (Sci-Fi/Comedy). He’s very old fashioned in a way that he keeps film-making very simple yet creatively it’s original, fresh and cool to watch without spending 250-300 million and yet technically it makes all the right noises.
To be frank, his movies are in a way a parody of different genres. Yet it is not is insulting in anyway nor is it unintentionally
funny. He is always on the mark and the main reason for that is the Story/Screenplay which is tight and is slightly more tilted towards being a homage rather than a parody. The guy has a passion for Cinema & Pop culture and this is visible in all his films through the homage and references especially in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World . In fact, he is the first to admit that he is influenced and inspired by a lot of movies and he watches a lot of movies before beginning the scripting process, yet what you see on screen is so Edgar.
What never ceases to amaze you is that, though his movie might have a high dose of humor but sometimes it hardly has any dialogues. By just looking at their antics you burst out laughing. The prime example was Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World , the films captions were funnier than the dialogues. It is easily one of the busiest film I have seen given the fact that there is so much happening simultaneously. That being said the emotional content is rare as they are still pitched out perfectly without it being jarring and forced resulting in some of the more memorable scenes. The scene of Shaun killing his mom in Shaun Of The Dead comes straight to mind. Creating an impacting emotional scene in a primarily a comedy film is risky, it’s like you’re watching a scene where heroine is about to strip and the power cuts off as she’s about to drop her clothes. Where Edgar gets it right in terms of dark passage is that it he always builds it up from the start of the movie rather than just being a random scene to add that serious touch.
Be it his relationship with his mother & Nick in Shaun Of The Dead or the issues that Nick has with his father in Hot Fuzz, or Simon’s obsession of staying in the past in The World’s End. You always know that at some point in the turn of events this emotion will be unleashed and when it does, it is handled in such a mature and dark way that you almost feel you’re all of a sudden watching something completely different. One thing about Edgar is he doesn’t hold back for anything, if he does something he will make sure that it is laid out perfectly in terms of color tones, atmosphere and brutality.
The brutality of course comes from the heavily violent action set pieces. It is gory, bloody, messy but beautifully crafted on celluloid. Be it the tight shooting sequence in Hot Fuzz to the WWE kind of fight sequence in The World’s End or the most artistic and beautiful masterpiece kind of video games meets comic book meets Da Vinci kinda action sequence in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. They are constantly evolving in terms of action sequences as well and not surprisingly something new crops up.
There are elements of films that we love and the elements which we just can’t forget and the quick cut editing is something that is just signature Edgar Wright. Guy Ritchie was the dude who got us hooked to those quick zappy editing patterns. But, Edgar just seems to have made it his own. He uses it not just to make it funny and stylish but primarily to jump through narration and get the pace of the story going, but also uses it very effectively in a conversation.
It is such an effective manner to move the story forward but if not done right it can feel unwanted. But the way it is done in Edgar’s film it is right on the mark and you wait for it to come in his films. It has become his signature of sorts in his films. Also it suits his style of filmmaking as it is always at a pace and the quick editing style gels together beautifully.
He bought back old school style of film-making with a modern twist where stories are still a core of a film, yet he has diversified technically, stylishly and manages to entertain us in very creative and unforgettable way. He has now moved on to bigger things after coming to Hollywood. Edgar’s next is supposedly Ant-Man but the one that has really caught my attention is a full fledged horror feature minus any comedy that he is planning with Bad”J. J. Abrams”Robot. Big industry and big studios comes with its own baggage and I hope that he won’t succumb to it and will manage to keep the honesty and creativity intact with which he makes his films.