Saturday, 20 October 2012

Drive (2011) - ★★★★

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers: Hossein Amini (Screenplay), James Sallis (Novel)
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brookes, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Ron Perlman, Oscar Isaac

This is hands down one of the best films of the year. It's been a while since I've seen a new movie as good as this one. It has a great story, great acting, it sucks you in and leaves you more than satisfied. I can't praise Drive enough for igniting hope for the future of the American Film Industry.

The film follows a mysterious Driver (Ryan Gosling) who works as a garage mechanic, a Hollywood stuntman and a getaway driver. He falls for his neighbor, Irene (Mulligan),who is mother to a child and whose husband (Oscar Isaac) is in prison. Meanwhile, his garage mechanic boss, Shannon (Byran Cranston), is trying to set up a race team using gangland money, which implicates the Driver as he is to be the team's main driver. Things get complicated for him when he meets Irene's husband, who involves him in a one million dollar heist, which two gang members intend on getting back using any means necessary.

I think the best thing about Drive is that it's very subtle when it comes to interactions between the characters. One thing I hate about movies these days is that when two people are falling in love, they don't shut up. They feel compelled to spill their guts out about their past and their feelings. This film shows love in its simplest form, through facial expressions (which I'm partial to).

Gosling was fantastic, as was Mulligan. I liked their relationship and I rooted for them to run off together. It's rare to become invested in a romance these days with terrible B-rate Rom-Coms taking over the cinema, but this film brings back the interest. I think it's because it wasn't trying to shove 'love' down our throats, it was just a small part of the story.

Albert Brookes was fantastic as one of the leaders of the gang. He was funny and cruel. Everytime he was on screen, it was pure entertainment. Same goes for Bryan Cranston. He has certainly come a long way from playing the father from Malcolm in the Middle. There was plenty of blood and death in this film, but it wasn't there as a gorefest, but to suck the audience further into the story.

Drive had a brilliant 80's feel about it, which was so refreshing and nostaligic to see. It had a lot to do with the beautiful music and neon city setting. The great thing about this film is that it isn't a particular genre, it's everything. It's action, it's thriller and it's romance. All are important, all are executed masterfully and all are entertaining! I can't praise this film enough. It's one of the best films of 2011.

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