Sunday, September 18, 2011


Movie Name: Drive
Year of Release: 2011
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks, Kaden Leos
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7

Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn is back on the screens, following his previous effort "Valhalla Rising", with "Drive" a film that premiered this year at the Cannes film festival and won the award for best director. The film follows the story of a stunt-car driver (whose name we never know), who also moonlights as a driver for escapes of crime related situations. The Driver is laconic and short on words, his tone never going beyond a whisper. On a chance encounter he meets Irene, a young waitress and her son Benicio. He gets tangled in the problems of her ex-husband and a spiral of violence emerges around them.
Nicolas Winding Refn takes his time to develop the story and showcase the characters. The Driver, as created by Ryan Gosling, is a man with focus, who knows each situation he's getting into and for whom a menace is not taken lightly. The film has a fluidity that allows for the viewer to understand the life of this character, his loneliness, but also the menace behind those calm eyes. When the violence does erupt, it's almost earth-shattering, but again it feels like an extension of the Driver himself. The film is beautifully shot, each frame beautifully lit by Newton Thomas Sigel and the music of Cliff Martinez (who is a frequent collaborator of Steven Soderbergh) helps define the mood without over-doing it. Ryan Gosling creates an interesting character, but Albert Brooks exudes a confidence and a menace that stays with you long after the film has ended. A great film worth watching!