Drive (Film Review)

Drive is a 2011 neo-noir crime drama by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher Films, Valhalla Rising).

The Film stars Ryan Gosling (Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Notebook, Various other children’s programs) as a mechanic in a shop owned by Shannon, Bryan Cranston (Saving Private Ryan, Breaking Bad). Gosling also works as a part time Hollywood Stuntman. The main plot point of the film is that Gosling moonlights as a getaway driver, organised by Shannon.

The film was heavily influenced by the 1980s getaway films and ‘The Driver (1978). This influence can be seen clearly in its soundtrack which is mostly composed by Cliff Martinez (Various Films and TV Shows, and worked with Red Hot Chilli Peppers). Refn was a very big fan of his abstract retropop. The opening credits song is Nightcall by the french musician Kavinsky, which was co-produced by Guy-Manuel from Daft Punk.The soundtrack causes an eerie 80’s feeling which is heavily reflected by the subtle orange and blue motif (as seen here: Credit to caulkmeat for the album). The orange-blue motif creates a very calming yet otherworldly feeling that leaves you tense yet at the same time relaxed.

But is it worth watching? Yes, however it does have its downsides. Its a very odd film, it has a very weird start, in that it takes a good half an hour or so before anything really happens, but when it kicks off, boy does it kick off, the film goes from a standard Jason Stathem driving flick, to an ultra-violent thriller that does not let you rest. The soundtrack is absolutely out of this world and the cinematography is top notch throughout the film. The cast is star studded from start to finish with Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Ron Perlman, Carey Mulligan and Ryan Gosling among many others.
Personally this is one of my top 10 films, and is without a doubt the best film of 2011.
A sequel called ‘Driven’ is planned, and Gosling has shown an interest, along as it isn’t just the same film again.


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