Drive

on

I love everything about this film. I’ll just say that right away so that, if you don’t agree, you don’t waste your time reading any further.

The soundtrack. Oh my God, the soundtrack. It compliments the setting and atmosphere of the movie so perfectly. The beautiful scenes of Los Angeles at night set against pulsating 80’s style synthwave are breathtaking.

The cinematography. Gorgeous shots, lingering scenes, excellent composition. The lighting and color palette often make Drive feel like some kind of wild, retro fever dream.

The characters. Ryan Gosling’s ‘Driver’ is a man with no name and few words. His soft-spoken, slow to react demeanor is a direct juxtaposition to the bursts of intense violence he demonstrates in the latter half of the movie. He is a man with demons, and rage, and purpose. He appeared one day from nowhere, and disappears one day like a ghost.

Shannon (Bryan Cranston) is also a deep, multi-layered character. Kind, compassionate, but desperate to make a living. A man with a good heart and bad luck. Shannon was a father figure to the Driver, and his death was swift and haunting. I’ve been a fan of Bryan Cranston since Breaking Bad, and his performance here showcases his talent.

The violence. Every person that the Driver exacts revenge upon is dealt with in extreme brutality. Every person except for Nino (Ron Perlman). Where the other scenes were grotesque and bloody, Nino is drowned as the camera looks on from a distance. Despite The Driver wearing a stunt mask while killing Nino, this is the only murder that he commits as himself – calculated and efficient as opposed to explosive and messy.

The story is complex and, while nothing profoundly unique, it manages to be engaging and deep in all the right places. The most interesting part of the story is how it is told with such sparse dialogue. Drive is certainly a film that adheres to the adage of “show don’t tell”.

From the pink cursive script to the catchy final song, Drive is an excellent film that doesn’t disappoint.

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