Nicolas Winding Refn directs Drive, a drama about a skilled stunt driver who also doubles as a getaway driver, the driver finds himself in increasingly dangerous situations however as he chooses to help out a neighbour, the film stars Ryan Gosling, Carrey Mulligan. Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Oscar Isaac.
Drive is an intriguing drama, mainly intriguing because of its unique set of characters, namely in the nameless driver played by Ryan Gosling, he’s stoic, often silent but has a strong aura and charisma about him, he’s a strong character who you want to get to know more and explore more and this is really brought by Goslings great performance. And along side Gosling, while Carrey Mulligan is believable and very earnest as the drivers neighbour Irene. And as the film doesn’t have a a lot of characters, it does ride (pun intended) fairly heavily on the Drivers and Irenes’ relationship which feels quite natural with ups and downs, awkward moments but a real feeling of two people really being drawn together.
You really feel the frustration through both Irene and the driver with their situations as they strive for better things but know life and situations are often complicated, especially with the double life of the driver. The faster and more tense moments in the film are great, well shot and thrilling in moments with good use of practical effects and excellent set pieces with some pretty spectacular driving, these scenes are well shot and great to see in the film which is first and foremost a drama, but it’s nice to see the more fast paced scenes. And Gosling is great in the role and sells the idea of being an expert in his field, a quite but confident stunt driver.
Nicolas Winding Refn adeptly directs both the action and slower moments in a story that gets progressively more interesting and engaging as it goes on I feel, helped by a fantastic soundtrack which evokes feelings of the 80s, matching certain scenes perfectly and bringing a lot of atmosphere to the film. With the music often being quite laid back and simplistic, which matches the minimalistic approach to the film as a whole, Drive feels very indie in its style and unsurprisingly so.
Though Drive has these impressive elements, it’s not perfect, the lack of dialogue may be a bit too jarring for some with that coming across as lazy writing or the lack thereof, as well as the lack of any real exploration of the drivers backstory or personality, a character whose name we don’t even find out. Understandably some people see the film as being shallow but I think it still stands as an engaging, interesting story, admittedly not that deep but still a well directed and engrossing drama with some great cinematography and a pretty stylised feel to it which harkens back to dramas of decades gone by.
. Has some great performances from Gosling, Mulligan
. Brilliant soundtrack
. Somewhat shallow characterization but the main characters are interesting