Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver may be a movie about bank heists and getaway chases and one helluva genius behind the wheel, but it’s also about rebirth, renewal, and second chances—nowhere more on display than in the film’s iconic laundromat scene.
The movie’s eponymous Baby (Ansel Elgort) has just fulfilled his financial obligation to Kevin Spacey’s Doc; he’s no longer beholden to be the driver for the bank robberies Doc masterminds. With this bit of freedom, he’s unencumbered to pursue his courting of Debra, portrayed deftly by Lily James. On one of their first outings, they go to a laundromat, where Wright uses the scenery to signal Baby’s second chance at life, now that he has (seemingly) put a life of crime behind him.
As Baby and Debra flirt and talk and share music, every washer and dryer is filled with red, yellow, and blue fabric—all primary colors, which parallels to Baby’s life at that moment. He’s back to basics: he can go wherever life takes him. His life is no longer mixed up, as it were. And the fact the garments are in washers and dryers—can there be any clearer metaphor for Baby’s life being scrubbed clean for the first time in a very long while? Like his heart and mind, the machines are full—full of promise, full of possibility, and full of new love.
Baby Driver, directed by Edgar Wright and starring Ansel Elgort and Lily James, is now in now on DVD, Blu-ray, Digital On Demand, and streaming.