In the vast sea of terrible and completely superfluous movies that premiered in 2011 Drive comes as a brilliant independent freshener of the most valuable sort. Its 80’s-like aura, connected with a strong plot, mesmerizing soundtrack and convincing main character, provide for a pleasant, yet somehow unexpectedly thrilling, amount of adrenaline flow. Nicolas Winding Refn took a risky step in mixing a bit of old-school gangster cinema with a contemporary movie about dangerous and hot car rides. I must say that the outcome is more enjoyable than it sounds at first.
Unexpected as it may seem, it’s Ryan Gosling’s time to shine in Drive. The whole plot is generally build on his performance, and it’s worth stressing out that his ability to support the picture with his persona and make it look very professional is outstanding. I’ve never considered him to be a leading man of our generation, but after this movie he really showed the world that his days of glory are only about to begin. The nonchalance of The Driver, as he is known, his eagerness to be very quiet, blended with brutal outbursts in the most promising moments makes him a man everyone should be scared of. I mean, when a guy puts a nail to your head and threatens to push it right through your head with a hammer sounds kind of extreme, right?
Carey Mulligans brings a dose of realism to the picture, playing a person so vulnerable, yet so positive in her perception of the brutal emptiness that surrounds her, because of the delinquent husband. His ties to the criminal underworld are the main reason that The Driver suddenly becomes a first-rate offender in the mafia community.
I truly adore the seemingly noir atmosphere that can be felt throughout the whole time. The visually suspenseful sequences, collided with the harshly dark tone of the colors, and gripping storyline can partially remind of the good old days of brilliant crime thrillers. Maybe if it wasn’t for the stupendous bloody scenes of utmost brutality, perhaps.
Then, on the other hand, there are a lot of melancholic moments of utter calmness and tranquility that, along with gorgeously placed songs (my favorite being Nightcall), give a completely different side of the picture.
All of those factors combined provide for a cinematic experience that certainly most people won’t forget. Drive is a smart thriller of our times that, in the huge crowd of rather tedious movies, may be even called a Scorsese for the modern generation. And that’s probably a complement that anyone would want to hear.