Contributed By Irin Tjahjana
A slow-burning crime thriller with stellar performances from its leads, Drive is one of the season’s surprise hits, steering clear of clichés in the car film genre. It is adapted from the 2005 James Sallis novel of the same name which tells the story of a Hollywood stunt performer, the nameless Driver (Ryan Gosling) moonlighting as a getaway driver.
Thanks in part to the solid characterization from the screenplay by Hossein Amini, Gosling’s driver is one of the most intriguing protagonists on the big screen this season. He is stoic, level-headed and completely devoid of emotions, but when he gets to know his neighbor, a young mother named Irene (Carey Mulligan), his life takes an unexpected turn. Once scared of being hurt and constantly on the move, his heart is melted by Irene’s ability to see through his pain and accept him, and a romance soon blossoms between them.
A spanner is soon thrown in the works with the release of her husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac) from prison, and Irene and her son are dragged into a dangerous underworld. Unable to leave his love and her offspring to their obvious doom, Driver takes over the wheel for her husband and settles the score with Standard’s deadly enemies. Unfortunately, cash is not all they’re after.
Original, highly stylized and brilliantly paced, Drive is a movie for mature viewers, but it’s not exactly popcorn fodder if you’re looking for more mainstream action.