Straight to the Point: Understated, bipolar and just amazing
There isn’t much I can say about this film apart from how amazing it is and, like ‘Warrior,’ it is another film I completely missed judged when it came out. The name “Drive” just made me think of The Fast and The furious and all the other dross films like that, so completely turned me off; again, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
‘The calm before the storm’ sums Drive up quite well. From the very start it is as if an elastic band of tension (accentuated by the mellow sound track), is being tightened through out the film and you are just waiting for it to snap. ‘Driver’ (Gosling) who is a mellow, quiet, and mysterious fellow; good with kids and in love (in a cool sultry, manly sort of way) with his next-door neighbour (Mulligan) spends a lot of time, well driving, and not saying very much. You get the impression he has some underlying issues and a wondering mind within his hard exterior; a sordid past of some sort maybe?
This introvert nature stays constant as the film goes on, with no hint at anything changing, until the elastic band snaps and what was once a nice drive in the country turns into a brutal bloodbath. Driver literally transforms into the sum of all his underlying anger, hate and resentment, or this is my theory anyway, and explodes with merciless and unflinching violence. Strangely enough these outbursts humanize him somewhat, as until then, he is emotionally devoid and as morbid as it sounds, the violence gives you, the watcher, a release. The elastic band has snapped and you finally see the real Driver, something you crave more as the film continues.
Drive ticks a lot of “generic” boxes: a film about a Getaway driver; mobsters, gun fights, car chases and copious amounts of blood and violence, but, this is NOT a generic driving film, so please do not be put off, or conversely think that is what you are going to get.. The whole flick is crafted masterfully in a unique, atmospheric and even serene way (three words you will not often find being used in a driving film), giving it an air of reality. The actors, especially the “Driver” says very little and only when they need to; there are no witty one liners, no comical scenes, no unnecessary explosions and no bull shit. It is as if they have taken the concept of one of a boy racer films, stripped it to the bare bones, added an awesome sound track and made one of the best films I’ve seen this year.
In Drive’s case, more was most definitely NOT better… watch it!