Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn
Written by: Hossein Amini
A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.
Drive was a piece of art. Yes, you read it, a piece of art. It was one of the most beautifully constructed movies of this era which included spectacular shots of LA in a gritty way. There was not a lot of dialogue and it left the viewer to analyze the shots in their own interpretation to understand deeper meaning in the story It is a homage to noir style films of the 1950s and Drive brings ultra-violence into the mix.
That being said, Drive was not a perfect film. I think Nicolas Winding Refn meant very well with his artsy form to the film but I think he tried a little too hard. He let certain shots last too long and scenes between Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan towards the beginning of the film were almost painful to watch. The story was not very well constructed and the actions of Ryan Gosling’s nameless character, The Driver, seemed irrational and out of character since we know nothing of his past. He wears a jacket with a scorpion on the back throughout the film and we have to assume that this symbol relates with his past. I’m okay with not knowing anything about his past but when a quiet, polite, well mannered young man all of a sudden goes hammer to somebody’s skull it felt out of place.
Besides the awkward scenes between Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan and some shots that felt way to long, this film was extremely entertaining. The opening sequence really set a tone for the rest of the film. With the great soundtrack that matched up very well with the slow pace of the film. When the violence came along it put shivers down my spine through my limbs. It was beautifully violent.
Now who the hell thought that Ryan Gosling could pull a character like this off. It’s hard to imagine him not playing in a romantic drama role but he pulls off the cool guy action star vibe extremely well. With these long shots he had pull off some menacing blood covered faces for long period of times. This was a gutsy role for him and this might be his breakout role for so much more to come.
Other notable acting performances came from Bryan Cranston who plays a fast talking, mechanic, who is hoping to make some money off of the driver. Its amazing to think where he came from, Malcolm in the Middle, to where he is now. The other great performance came from Albert Brooks who played the main villain in the film. It seems like odd casting but it strangely works. He even gets to shed some blood in the film.
Drive really was a great film and I appreciate it greatly for its master craftsmanship. I can’t wait to watch it a second time to analyze the images more to find more hidden meanings. I think it had its flaws but the positives greatly outweighed these flaws. I love this time of year when all of the oscar worthy movies keep coming out. Keep them coming.
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