Drive | Review

I feel there may be a slight theme of Ryan Gosling films beginning to appear in these reviews…but I promise, the next film I talk about (after this) will not be a Ryan Gosling film. But what can I say? Every now and then, there are actors and actresses who are both amazingly attractive and fantastic at acting, and Ryan Gosling happens to be just one of those actors. Drive is the first film that I saw Ryan Gosling in, after being told to watch it by everyone who’d already seen it. I’d heard the hype about the performance of this Gosling chap in some film about driving, and after watching it, realised it’s so much more than that. Let’s have a look shall we?Image

From the stunning visuals of the film to the compelling storyline, Drive ticks all the boxes on the ‘how-to-make-a-great-movie’ check-list. The film follows a nameless, man-of-few-words stunt driver who after becoming attached to his neighbour and her son, helps her fresh out of prison hubby (charming) by fending off some of the local mobsters who, in turn, need him for some kind of deal to do with a car…I got kinda lost with the last bit, but the former is what’s more important. Driver (we’ll call him Driver as he remains nameless) is part time mechanic working for Shannon, Malcolm’s Dad from Malcolm in the Middle, and Walter from Breaking Bad (Bryan Cranston), part time stunt driver for the movies and part time get-away driver for robberies. It’s needless to say, the character that is Driver is one of mysterious magnitude. The audience never really know anything about his true character; he can be a man who’s tenderness leaves you weak at the knees to a man who’s occasional violent episodes leaves you attempting to wobble away with those jelly legs. He is elusive to say the least, but this is what makes the film so intriguing. He is a character who leaves his emotions down to simple actions, and not words, which intensifies every scene, as the audience are left trying to figure out what’s going through his head. But thanks to Gosling’s amazing performance, there’s not a lot left to figure, because it’s all there for you on screen. You bet your bottom dollar that when Driver puts on those leather gloves of him, some form of faecal matter is going to hit some form of rotating cooling device.

Director, Nicolas Winding Refn, masters the balance of action and love story, with a satisfying amount of shotgun/foot/hammer to head action to fulfil those bloodthirsty members of the audience, whilst at the same time creating an endearing love story between the characters of Driver and, neighbour, Irene (Carey Mulligan). The most interesting factor of this relationship is what’s NOT said. In this case, its obvious something is happening between the two, but nothing is really explicitly said about it, which is quite the tease for us audience members who could cut the sexual tension with a knife. Driver’s relationship with Irene’s son, Benicio, is also one of the most adorable things ever. Why does Driver become so attached to his neighbours? Maybe because Carey Mulligan is so damn cute? We’ll never know. But what I do know is that, without this underlying love story, Drive would be one tick down on that all important check-list.Image

Now to more technical stuff. The look of the film is absolutely astonishing. The darkness of night interrupted with the harsh light of street lamps and neon signs is beautifully noire-esque and paints the appropriately moody streets of LA perfectly. However, night isn’t the only time where the cinematography comes alive. Who’d have thought that a shot gun kill would look so awesome in slow-motion? Or what probably was about a seconds worth of smooching? This one scene in particular is visually amazing and so tender, it quickly became one of my favourites from any film, ever;
v=UgNt_oJnZpA On top of all this, the soundtrack is amazing as well. It’s moody, synthy, indie, full of tension, and speaks the emotions of the characters on screen as well. I’ll leave it to this guy to explain all the technical jargon better than I can…; Here’s a link to my favourite in the sound track, Tick Of The Clock by the Chromatics, check it out, and tell me you don’t envisage
yourself as a pent up get-away driver on a mission…: See what I mean? If you don’t then…well…let’s agree to disagree (aka, you’re a moron.)
All in all, Drive is an incredibly well executed film. If you have seen the film, then knowing the fable of the Scorpion and the Frog may enhance your viewing…it did mine! Look it up! Imagine that Driver is the character of the Scorpion if you do. Especially as the motif of the Scorpion is so poignant throughout. And Ryan Gosling is a Scorpio apaz. And if that wasn’t enough, there are three scorpions hidden in the film!
‘There are three hidden scorpions in the film:

  • When Driver is in the car right before the scene in the coffee shop where he tells the guy he is going to kick his teeth in. It is reflected in the window and makes a shape like a scorpion.
  • The second is when he goes to meet Bernie at the Restaurant. It is in the bottom right corner of the painting as he walks up to the table.
  • When the Driver takes Irene and Benicio to the creek / pond, they play with scorpion claws.’

But if you haven’t seen it then please; I implore you to see this movie. You won’t regret it! Now, where’s that check-list…


Drive | Review

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