Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers: Hossein Amini
Cinematographer: Newton Thomas Sigel
The film opens with an AWESOME suspense filled scene of the main protagonist (Ryan Gosling) narrowly escaping from the cops as a getaway driver for some burglars. Immediately I was drawn in. However, after the first scene, everything changes. In fact, hardly anything changes – thats the problem. The story inches itself forward at a pace that is in complete contrast from the opening scene’s excitement.
Drive; its a film that will take you by the scruff of your neck and slap you around with cold hand. It’s not what you expect from Hollywood at all.
As an audience member I felt myself crying out for more narrative. “Get on with it” my mind was screaming. “Where’s the driving that the flipping title insinuates there’ll be?” All my cries were to no avail. The story continues to drag its feet painfully slowly.
One thing that stands out is the stellar performance by Ryan Gosling. Although it is unlike anything I’ve seen him in before (Notebook, Crazy Stupid Love and Ides of March) he performs the character to a T. My initial reaction is that the character was wasted on Gosling. There’s virtually no dialogue so why don’t put someone in there who can’t speak, like Nicholas Cage or Liam Neeson. Whenever one of those two say a line, the film is instantly trashed. I digress.
However, despite the virtually silent script, Gosling nails the character. Brilliantly.
Finally, after I had nearly smashed my computer screen in frustration over the pace at which the movie progressed, thing’s start to pick up. But this is where it gets weird. In keeping with the completely unexpected nature of the film, there is a series of violent scenes which appear to have been guest directed by Tarantino. Think Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds.
For me it was too much. But perhaps that was the point. Gosling transforms from cool, slick and sleek getaway driver, to brutal, heartless head stomping murderer.
One thing that I can rave about is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is epic in its own right and gotten as much attention as the film itself! Super retro, 80’s synth like with a lot of soul and character, kind of like the Gosling’s character I guess.
Drive is a love/hate, love TO hate film. I love to hate it personally. But I appreciate it. I appreciate that its not another Hollywood action car chasing film. Yes we love those, but its what we expect! Drive is the furthest thing from what’s expected.
Drive was seriously snubbed at the Oscars receiving not one nomination! Perhaps that’s what confirms its status as one for the cult film greats.
Plot/Story Development 5/10