Drive (2011)

Everybody says that this is the best movie of the year. I haven’t seen A Dangerous Method yet (Cronenberg + Mortensen + Fassbender + Knightley + Jung + Freud + Folly… If it’s not one of the best movie ever, I’ll be very disappointed), but I can say that I do agree with the rest of the world. Not because of Ryan Gosling exceedingly hot masculinity, but because of the entire film.
Drive is about this unnamed, very skilled stunt and occasionally getaway driver. One day, he meets his neighbor Irene, a girl with a kid and a husband in prison. He’s usually a very solitary man, but he happens to like them both, so he takes them for a drive… Which is his best way of showing that he likes them both. But the girl’s husband, Standard, comes home from prison and one of his old enemies threatens him and his family. Concerned for Irene and the kid, the driver agrees to help Standard rob a pawn shop, so he can pay his debts and hopefully free himself and his family from mobsters. But things get bad. Very bad. (The plot is not just that, there’s actually a lot more going on. But I’m not good at this cuz I usually give away too much… So, just go and see the movie).
It’s amazing how this movie conveys action movie feelings without being exactly an action movie. Of course there are some action scenes, but silence rules. And maybe that’s why we get the feeling that every thing it’s amplified: speed-ups, slowing downs, gun shots… In a silent world, when something breaks, you can’t help but hear it. Throughout the entire movie, it’s like we live inside the driver’s head. He’s a very solitary and silent man, and so is the film. Electronic music is constantly playing, like in a radio car, so we actually got the feeling that we’re in his car. Still, despite the music, silence is overwhelming all the time… Except when violence breaks it. The pace is very slow, except when the driver enters his car and shuts the rest outside: then his world and the movie speed up and, as I said before, everything gets amplified. Los Angeles by night is such an evocative setting: in a city where everybody drives, it’s like there is only one driver out there this time. Do you remember Michael Mann’s Collateral,  the scene where the taxi meet a wandering coyote at a crossroad? Well, our driver reminded me of that coyote.

Long story short: A MUST-SEE.

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5 comments on “Drive (2011)

  1. Been hearing a lot of praise for this, which is surprising considering it was pretty much flying under the radar for me. I’ll have to add it to my list of movies to see.

  2. “Must See” is right.

    I really like your last few sentences there… its some nice writing. You use a good word to describe this flick. “Evocative”. So much of this movie is SHOW rather than TELL, you know? Refn did an excellent job.

    Really good write up Jersey.

  3. pgcooper1939 says:

    Great review. Definitely a must see and one of the year’s best.

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