Slick, cool, violent cinema - Colm2305
We don't get over eighteen rated films too often anymore. Kids have money these days and their a huge market for our cinemas. Setting a barrier between them and a film will not be to the films financial benefit. It's a relief then that a film arrives that ignores this fact. Drive is very cool, very stylish and extremely violent. All of these elements necessary in making it a damn fine film.
Ryan Gosling plays an unnamed man known simply as Driver. A quiet man of few words Driver is a stunt driver by day and a get away driver by night. Blending into the streets of LA unoticed Driver appears to have no real friends and only one aquaintance in Shannon (Bryan Cranston), his mechanic. He soon becomes involed with mother next door Irene (Carey Mulligan) and all seems to be on track for a happy ending, with Driver slowly emerging from his shell. All changes when Irenes husband Standard (Oscar Isaac) returns home from prison and Driver finds himself at the heart of a heist gone wrong.
Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn making his first English language film will see his stock rise after this. Expect his next directorial outing to have several times the budget and half of Hollywood beating down his door to star in it. He makes everything look and sound extremely cool. Expect the always present eighties soundtrack to quickly become the new soundtrack to own. Everything is slick and polished, with precise camera work, design and lighting.
Slickness is all for nothing though if there's nothing behind it, fortunately there's plenty. The script has some great dialogue and gives every character distinct personalitys enticing them each in the story in very different ways. Some of the gangsters could have done with some more attention to flesh out their motives and the racecar plot needed more to make it necessary but for the most part the script is every bit as smooth and perfect as the direction.
Gosling will be top of the Hollywood ladder after this. He's impossible to take your eyes off as he fills the screen with such intensity. When he is present anything is possible, and he conveys that with as little dialogue as possible. When his violent outbursts eventually come we believe it. Delivered with such menace he manages to be both terrifying and warm when required.
The kind of film cinemas needed. A good reason to get off your couch, not wait for the DVD and get down to your cinema. Expect great things from the director, this marks the start of his hopefully very long and sucessful career in Hollywood.
Review published on the 05 October 2011 13:48
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