Drive (2011)

Drive tells the tale of an anonymous stunt driver who works at night as a getaway driver for anyone willing to pay his fee. Then Driver, as he shall henceforth be known, falls inlove, not the typical love depicted in most movies as the Driver has troubles truly expressing his emotions and is a very reserved character. However when the girl he loves is in trouble with mobsters, Driver will stop at nothing to protect her.

Ryan Gosling is absolutely superb as the Driver, often coming off as cold but then showing his softer, more vulnerable side. If Hugh Jackman had played him, as originally planned, then the character wouldn’t have been so calculating and strangely menacing. Ryan Gosling gives the second best performance of the year, in my opinion only Dominic Cooper beats him for his dual personality in The Devil’s Double. I have yet to see anyone to compete with Gosling or Cooper’s performances in their respective films.

The supporting cast are also excellent, Carey Mulligan is great as the Driver’s love interest in the film and gives a performance that is subtle, yet at the same time she commands a certain respect. Even when compared to the Driver she still shows some authority, often subtly controlling Driver, driving the conversation to topics she wants to discuss and negating from topics she doesn’t wish to discuss.

The rest of the cast are great and all suit there roles greatly, not a single dud actor to be found.

Nicolas Winding Refn is a genius, atleast when it comes to music in his films.

I thought that Refn would never be able to top Bronson as a film, Drive is on par if not slightly better than Bronson in almost every way. Refn always seems to get amazing performances out of his actors and makes them stars with his films, i.e. Tom Hardy, although he was a star in England, it wasn’t until Bronson that people realised how great of an actor Hardy was, which led to him being cast in Inception, which then opened the door to Hollywood to him. With Gosling, it is a bit more difficult as he has been an Indie darling, rarely starring in films other than Indies. Hopefully, the Refn charm rubs off on Gosling and he gets more high profile roles to truly show his flexibility as an actor.

The music in Refn’s films always suits the scene and are extremely likeable. The music that was used was very old school and placed in such a perfect way that at some points i thought the film was set in the 70’s or 80’s and it is only when i catch modern equipment or references that it snaps me back to the present.

Drive is such a beautiful film. Refn makes Los Angeles look gorgeous and grand which, for a film about a getaway driver wasn’t necessary, but Refn went the extra mile, as he did with Bronson to make the city a beautiful landscape shot with some inventive camera angles. The blood and gore, which there is quite alot of, ¬†even looks beautiful, which i thought was another great touch.

I truly believe that Drive will be Refn’s best film, however i have said it before about Bronson and was proved wrong, i would happily eat my words if Refn’s next film is up to par with Drive.

Drive is beautifully acted, scripted and directed, however the run time was far too short. The film, much like a real getaway is over in, what feel likes an extremely short amount of time. I could have easily watched Drive for another 40 mins, however i feel that the main story was neatly wrapped up. Not my favourite film of the year, but it is easy to see why so many people love it. Highly recommended, think of it as Fast & Furious with excellent acting.


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