This is another film review for the fabulous indie music website the The405, but this time a DVD review of the cinematic masterpiece that is Drive. However, I am still waiting for the review to go live, so I thought I would post this here while I am waiting for the link… (So Danny if you are reading this, hint hint hint!!)
There is a lot of hype about Drive. A lot of hype. This film has spawned a Ryan Gosling tumblr memeolution, from feminists to cute puppies. Is all of the hype for one of 2011’s highly rated movie completely deserved? Fuck yeah!
Drive a film of two halves, of slow understated beauty, dramatically colliding into a tense and graphic bloodbath. The main character, known only as ‘The Driver’ (Ryan Gosling) has two sides, a Hollywood stunt double by day, a getaway driver by night. The film opens with Driver helping two men evade a heist with superb skill and precision undetected, living by certain rules: he works anonymously, he never works with the same people twice, and he only gives his accomplices five minutes to carry out their work. But this modern day James Dean also has a sensitive side; he meets and is drawn to the innocence of neighbour and married mother Irene (Carey Mulligan). After lots of smouldering looks and night time drives full of longing, Irene’s husband Standard (Oscar Isaac) is released from prison, owing protection money to another gangster. Compelled but not forced to be a hero and protector, Driver is aides another heist that doesn’t work out as planned. Suddenly the Driver is forced into a violent battle to discover who crossed him
By most modern day standards, the plot is simplistic. The dialogue is minimal. But all this works in the films favour, as there are so many stylistic influences at work, seamlessly weaving throughout the film to make it a real nail-biting cinematic splendor. The credits roll and you get the same excited chills when you first saw the GTA: Vice City florescent brush script. The camerawork keeps a video game feel through first person views during the driving and stunts, all of which are simply and perfectly done. The soundtrack is stunner on its own; the 80’s infused electric synth pop includes tracks by Kavinsky, College and Desire, with extra dramatic tension conceived through slow, mutating drum loops. The entire film is a perfect marriage of style and substance, infused by the electric chemistry of the fantastic ensemble cast – including Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks and Albert Brooks. This is why people have been talking about this for months. Rightly so.
The DVD features include trailers, a stills and art gallery, and 30 minute interview and Q&A with Dutch Director Nicolas Winding Refn, known to some for the also memorably violent film ‘Bronson’ divulges on the decisions behind creating the outstanding soundtrack, why he cast Christina Hendricks over a porn star (I have no idea…) and why production was scaled down from $60 to $15 million dollars. It was the best decision, as any more Hollywood and Drive would be far from the masterpiece that it is.