Almost flawless modern masterpiece - Stefano Brucone
There is a telling scene at the very start of Drive which goes a long way to explaining the Ryan Gosling character. Against an electronic soundtrack that evokes memories of Crockett's theme, the Driver enters his new apartment, takes a look around and then walks back out to spend the night driving around Los Angeles.
His identity is indelibly linked to the car and it is therefore appropriate that he is known only as the Driver. Like many Americans, he is holding down three jobs. All involve cars. Stuntman, getaway driver and mechanic. Beyond that he seems incapable of forming any sort of identity for himself. Even after working with him for six years, Bryan Cranston has no other name for him but the Kid.
In the past, this type of existential character was played by Clint Eastwood as the Man with No Name but Ryan Gosling offers a fresh take on the loner. He is not so much fearless as unconcerned. His isolation at times seems more like a form of Asperger's than moody taciturnity. He clings to rules, insisting that the criminals he helps have precisely five minutes in which they can rely on his help. When he resorts to violence it is sudden and shocking to everyone except himself.
And yet somehow, we are never alienated from this character, regardless of how violent he becomes. The purity of his love for the mother and child, and the depravity of the people he defends her against, transform him into something heroic.
Gosling has created a modern day Han Solo (the Han Solo who shot first), a character of questionable morality that young men will admire, not least for his ability to make a white satin jacket look good.
I can't recommend this film highly enough.
Review published on the 04 February 2012 20:09
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