Released in 2011, Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, is a visually stunning and thought-provoking piece of modern film. The story follows The Driver (Ryan Gosling), a stuntman and occasional getaway driver as he navigates through a relationship with his neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos). Things quickly go south when Irene’s husband (Oscar Isaac) returns from jail and enlists The Driver’s help on a job.
While the storyline is not totally original, the acting and cinematography set the film apart from other modern crime dramas. Gosling’s performance as the stoic main character can at first glance seem bland and uninteresting, however, as the movie progresses the character deepens with the acting choices made by Gosling. These choices are highlighted further by the other cast members: Mulligan’s Irene is worn down but still young, yearning for something other than her little apartment and criminal husband, while Bryan Cranston paints a picture of a crooked garage owner with tough luck, in his role role as Shannon, The Driver’s boss and uncle-like figure. Other supporting actors include Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman.
Besides the acting the film itself was beautiful, the emotion in every scene was highlighted by the director’s command of light and color, from the dark nights of the getaway drive to the warm sunlight of an afternoon drive, even the dabbling of neon in the movie creates a harsh but entrancing light to reflect the drama and cruelty that permeates from the film. One standout scene is the beginning sequence, a getaway, intensely beautiful, with minimal dialogue but perfectly sets the tone of the rest of the movie.
However, the movie was not perfect; at points the dialogue was awkward with some long pauses between sentences, but overall that did not detract from the enjoyment of the movie.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone who wants to see an interesting, visually appealing and sometimes violent crime drama.