An Arthouse thriller like no other.
Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, Driver (Ryan Gosling) is a Los Angeles mechanic/stuntman by day, and a crime getaway driver by night. He is a man of very few words, and isn’t one for displaying emotion. All is running smoothly until the Driver meets his neighbours, Irene, whose husband is in prison, and her young son Bonicio. By the time her husband (Oscar Isaac) is released, trouble sparks in their neighbourhood.
Unlike your run of the mill action film, Drive is so carefully crafted, painted with gorgeous cinematography, which unfolds so beautifully on screen. This is a world that glistens in pink neon noir, accompanied by three incredible scores which set the mood for the entire film. Kavinsky’s “Nightcall”, “A real hero” and “Under Your Spell” all evoke an atmosphere unlike any other. There’s a gritty realism to the acting; Gosling was excellent as the reserved and enigmatic driver. Though little was said, he didn’t have to say anything at all. For a film that contains such little dialogue, it’s incredible to think how hooked you become, as an audience, and quite frankly, this skill is absent from many directors today. Despite having a relatively small part, Mulligan does a very good job and displays great chemistry with Gosling. The supporting cast deliver satisfactory roles, from Bryan Cranston to Albert Brooks, who drive along with a fairly minimal narrative.
Drive makes for a stylish throwback to Michael Mann’s Thief, with dynamic doses of Heat and Collateral mixed in. The film shares several elements with Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, and Gosling’s enigmatic character is reminiscent of Travis Bickle. If you’re expecting another The Fast and the Furious action flick, then you will be disappointed; there is much more to Drive.
Not only will Drive require your full attention, this neo-noir thriller will most certainly require a strong stomach. An intense ride, with mesmerising attention to detail and tension. Arguably one of the greatest films of the 21st century in terms of its stylistic elements. A cinematic treat!