FILM REVIEW: Drive

Official Synopsis (contains spoilers)

Driver (Gosling) is a wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night. A loner by nature, he can’t help falling in love with his beautiful neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband Standard (Oscar Isaac). After a heist intended to pay off Standard’s protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defence for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman). But when he realises that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk-that they’re coming straight for Irene and her son-Driver is forced to shift gears and go on offence.

Director

Nicolas Winding Refn

Screenplay

Hossein Amini based on the novel Drive by James Sallis

Cast

Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks

UK Release Date

23rd September

Certificate

18

Review

Ryan Gosling is simply sublime as mysterious antihero Driver. Kitted out in his trademark satin bomber jacket, leather gloves and toothpick, he is a man of few words – serious and tough but with a glimmer of loneliness. He is cool under pressure, unflinching and remains focused and composed during the opening frantic car chase that is the first of many. This is something that serves him well (although is more than a little unnerving) when Drive takes a much darker and violent turn in its second half. And when I say there is violence I mean shocking, not-for-the-faint-of-heart violence. One wonders what could possibly have created such a man with no name and no past and of course about the outcome of his future. How on Earth can this end well?

The supporting cast, particularly Cranston and Brooks do their best to keep up with Gosling; there is also a delicate performance from Carey Mulligan (who it would appear need do nothing but open her saucer-like eyes for you to feel both her hope and pain), and it is through Irene and Driver’s relationship that we see Driver at his most vulnerable.

Newton Thomas Sigel’s cinematography is beautiful and the occasional use of slow-motion adds to Drive’s dream-like and mesmerising quality; in spite of the extreme violence it all adds up to something achingly romantic -the 80’s synth soundtrack echoing the films strong heartbeat.

Rating

5/5 – Nicolas Winding Refn has created a beautiful, thrilling film and I for one can’t wait to watch it again.

Alexis Jayne Defoe.

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