Drive (2011)

“You put this kid behind the wheel. There is nothing he can’t do.”

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Bryan Cranston

Ryan Gosling is really on his game lately. Taking the lead in Drive he proves yet again that he is on form and willing to show us the best way he knows how – by giving a great lead performance.

Gosling’s character remains unnamed throughout the film so I’ll refer to him as The Driver, pretty easy to see why. The Driver is a young guy living in LA, he works as a mechanic and Hollywood stunt driver by day, and moonlights as a getaway driver by night. However not every crime scene runs as smoothly as planned and soon The Driver becomes tangled in a crime-gone-wrong.

Drive is just fantastic. It debuted at various film festivals and received a standing ovation at Cannes, so I knew before I even sat down to watch it I was in for a treat.

The visuals and cinematography are stunning, showing off a more art-house feel to the film than I expected. I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching an 80s movie in some places too, from the soundtrack to the uses of neon lighting, wardrobe and themes, it felt like the boundaries were being blurred between generations and there were certainly some B-movie vibes radiating from the screen.

The performances in Drive were great. Gosling, as I’ve already said, is really finding his feet as a leading man now. Though he didn’t have as many lines as you’d expect a lead to carry, it’s true that actions speak louder than words. The Driver shows a massive range of character, from a subdued young guy to an overly violent and fierce man, Gosling was put in a role that really allowed for him to show his range of capabilities as an actor. He did it so effortlessly and convincingly too, pulling a much darker side out of The Driver that you wouldn’t expect.

Supported by actors such as Carey Mulligan who plays young mum Irene, hoping to find some stability for herself and son, and Albert Brooks, who completely goes against his typecast and portrays the brutal and unforgiving mobster Bernie Rose, the whole cast fits perfectly into the film without question. Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman also give unforgettable performances making the casting of the film a winner.

Drive is a movie you must see. Reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, Bullitt and Risky Business – all for very different reasons – Drive is bound to be one of 2011’s best films.

Star rating:  8.5/10

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn.

Running time 100 minute.

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