By Shelby Fielding (Lubbock, Texas, USA)
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Drive: A Driving Movie That Finally Impresses!

Synopsis:

The movie Drive is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and stars Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston, Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, and Albert Brooks. This movie follows a mysterious driver who has multiple jobs as a Hollywood Stuntman, garage mechanic, and a talented getaway driver who is trying to change his ways and escape his shady past of crime, in which he then finds himself falling for his neighbor whose husband was just released from prison. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss is trying to begin a race team using gangland money to fund it, which implicates our driver as his boss wishes for him to become the race team’s main driver. This embarks us on a journey filled with suspenseful moments, and stunning cinematography that is well-directed by Nicolas Winding Refn thanks to his use of incredible sound design and editing.

My Thoughts:

This movie was an awesome surprise and completely blew me away. I honestly went into this movie thinking of Ryan Gosling’s past performances and felt considerably doubtful of the movie’s potential. Then after seeing Gosling’s other surprising performances in The Place Beyond The Pines and Only God Forgives my opinions changed and I began to get excited about this movie. So, I finally sat down and watched it on my blue-ray player and began to fall in love with this movie’s direction and narrative. What sets this movie apart is truly the brilliant direction from Nicolas Winding Refn as in the movie he focuses on visual storytelling to give an awesome characterization of this driver. A prime example of this visual storytelling is how in the first thirty minutes of this film, Gosling’s character speaks a total of maybe 4 to 5 lines. Because the film focuses on using stunning shot design to describe the torment and psychological battle going on inside the driver’s mind.

This storytelling is incredibly refreshing to watch and continuously sucked me into the movies narrative. To follow this sensational direction Nicolas Winding Refn uses remarkable sound design to build the suspense of the film. As there are so many scenes that use silence to help the audience focus on the torment and struggle that Gosling’s character is struggling with in the film. It is through this sound design that the movie accomplishes this stunning suspense throughout the film. Furthermore, the film focuses on underlying themes of loyalty, loneliness, and the dark impulses that we try to suppress but continue to rise in us. These themes are beautifully explored and really make you understand Gosling’s motives as a character, but at the same time makes you second guess them as we experience his violent outbursts throughout the film.

I will not spoil the movie for anyone, but there is a stunning scene in the middle of this movie in which the Driver finds himself locked in an elevator with a man who works for the gangster that is trying to harm him. In this scene, we see an awesome explosion of characterization, and the reason the scene is so successful is the cinematography used to describe the driver’s emotions and internal conflicts. The subtle change of lighting, the sound design, the editing, and the excellent performance from Ryan Gosling makes this scene remarkable and stunning to watch. Which leads me to the performances from this well-chosen cast.

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Performances:

Everyone involved in this film is completely indulged into this script, but it is Ryan Gosling’s performance that gives the film a dark and gritty sense of complexity that influences the audience to confuse their own morality with that of the dark impulses that make them question their actions. As for everyone else in the film, they find themselves almost overshadowed by this brilliant performance. Oscar Isaac’s character focuses on trying to make up for his past mistakes to become a family man, and he did a good job at helping the audience gain a sense of understanding and almost relatability about why he did and for what he plans to do in the film. Bryan Cranston’s character helps give a motive and a sense of direction to that of Gosling’s character.

He gives an excellent performance in making his character questioned by the audience. Wondering if he’s a bad guy or a good guy. Making it hard to decide his motifs and desires as a character. His performance gives the movie a sense of realism and grounded feel in my opinion. The only other performance I found intriguing was that of Carey Mulligan’s character Irene. She was confusing to watch and comprehend at times. As her character opens the film beginning to develop a small romance with the Driver then ends it with the return of her husband. Yet, after his return, she continues to offer a hint of flirtation with the Driver which I found confusing and incomprehensible at times.

Flaws:

The flaws of this film centralize around the small characterization of the supporting cast. The film’s flaw is minute but can become a little annoying at times. This flaw has to deal with the fact in how the poor characterization of the side characters seem to fall short of how the driver’s characterization and story arc is realized. This is a small flaw that only affects the movie’s narrative in a way that can cause the audience to feel uninterested in certain characters and how they’re portrayed.

Final Grade & Thoughts:

Overall this films flaws fail to slow down the suspense of the film, thanks to the brilliant direction and the extraordinary performance of Ryan Gosling throughout the film. It is through this performance and incredible direction that the audience finds themselves completely invested into the film’s narrative and screenplay. I loved this movie and I’m going to give the film Drive an A. The characterization did become a nuisance at times, but the positive qualities of the film overshadow them in an awesome way. What did you guys think? Is Drive that good of a movie or am I just saying nonsense? Leave your comments down below and tell me what you think about Drive. Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed this review and as always have a blessed day.

Rating: 5/5

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