It’s about time that I review a movie.
A quietly gripping, equal mix of the independent and mainstream, Drive is outrageously violent and sometimes explosive, but also paints a portrait of its setting and characters, one that doesn’t offer explanation or meaning, but instead relies on body language, actions, images and, in many cases, silence. Although it is only a loose adaptation of James Sallis’ book (and therefore an absolute butchering of aspects of the story), Drive captures the essence of what makes the character Driver a calm observer, out of place and alone, yet dealt the necessary tools to handle business and the knowledge of right from wrong.
Ryan Gosling makes the ideal fit as his take on Driver’s rather withdrawn persona strikes a nerve, one that makes it difficult to decipher him good or bad, regardless of his intentions.
While it seems like matters are complicated, the issues in Drive that keep the plot moving are rather straight-forward. The story is bare, but then again it’s not a story about a ‘story’, but more-so a story about characters who come into and out of the reclusive Driver’s life.
The care and stylization that goes into character development stems entirely from borderline pretentious delivery in the form of lingering, wordless exchanges, musical overlays and slow motion. The surrounding lifestyle and areas are glamorous even when the life Driver’s living isn’t.
Ultimately, Drive is a difficult adaptation to make even when blanks are filled in and characters’ backgrounds are twisted around. The most important aspect, Driver, is captured perfectly; almost like poetry, a tragedy in motion, empty by isolation of his own choosing, whose background could not make the smooth transition to film, but can be assumed anyways.
The electronic ’80s pop theme fits the movie to a tee. I felt like trimming my beard into permanent stubble (I did), rocking a toothpick and going out for a nightly drive.