Drive is a movie about an unnamed man (Ryan Gosling) who has made the car his be-all and end-all: as a mechanic and stuntcardriver he has a lot of time to spend in the car – and we haven’t yet spoken about the part where he gets hired as a getaway driver for robberies.
The story focuses on orchestrating the Driver without Gosling talking very much. He is the silent observer in the background and is defined by his environment. What gets the plot going is the introduction of a new neighbor played by Carey Mulligan and an inevitable lovestory starts which is not that easy as the protagonists would hope it were. And if the mob led by Ron “Hellboy” Perlman is after you, you better be very careful about every decision.
Drive is slow, violent and strangely fascinating. I had very high expectations for this movie after having heard from so many people before that I had to see it and during my trip to Hong Kong I thankfully found a multiplex to watch the movie (thanks again useless German dubbed distributions) and now I can say that while it did not wow me, Drive is a very impressive movie.
Particularly Gosling’s performance is superbly acted and I guess it will be the target of countless “does he do anything at all”-jokes. The ability to convey emotion and character without having much lines is a great gift and I am afraid that it will get overlooked in the ongoing award season (the Golden Globes have snubbed him and the Oscars seem to have already found their favorite silent actor).
Near the end of the movie it becomes incredibly brutal, so I was very glad that my sister refused to watch this movie due to a lack of time. If you are easily startled by exploding heads and realistic violence Drive might upset you a little bit too much. Yet at the heart is not the violence – it is always the Driver and his motivations which we will never be entirely sure of.
Is it a movie about justice?
Is the Driver just insane?
Why exactly does he do what he’s doing?
The more I think about this movie the fascinating the facets crystallize and while it did not blow me away the first time – nor do I have the urge to rewatch it as soon as possible – Drive might grow on me.
The only thing I’m sure of is that it sure won’t turn into a movie I will dismiss in a few months.