Drive, a book by James Sallis, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling
An actor that is currently under my radar is Ryan Gosling. Not only because he was papped in a passionate lip lock with the stunning Eva Mendes a day or so ago, but because he appears to be the man of the moment right now. Last night, when everyone was queing to watch the special screening of The Help, I was sipping wine in the foyer, waiting to see Drive.
The night before, I had watched a narcisstic, womanising, hard bodied, handsome Ryan Gosling, with that unmissable and wonderful accent – which apparently has Canadian roots, star in Crazy Stupid Love. However, Drive is a very different film and Gosling loses all his gloss for a very different kind of role.
Yet another book adapted for the screen, Drive was written by James Sallis, the film, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. By day Gosling works as a mechanic and a stunt driver for the movies, at night he is a designated heist driver. We first meet Gosling, on the road, driving-gloved hands on the wheel, waiting for two men who have just robbed an establishment, to drive them away from the crime scene. Once the men bundle into the car Gosling puts his foot down and takes off, swooping and careening through the streets to avoid the police. What we are treated to here, is possibly one of the sexiest driving scenes, likely to go down in movie history (at least I hope so).
Everybody knows there’s something unmistakebly sexy about cars and the way their driven (I’m sure Nicole Scherzinger can vouch for that, as can Justin Lin and Vin Diesel). However, this is no Fast and Furious, or other such cheap thrill action films. There’s something fascinating about the calmness, the confidence and the control Gosling’s character oozes, when he’s a hold of the wheel, and most surprisingly, when he’s not…
This is a heartfelt film about a man (Gosling), who has been assigned no proper name, whose life is turned upside down when he offers to drive in a heist that goes terribly wrong. He’s providing his services out of the goodness of his heart, to a man with a wife and child that Gosling has grown fond of. Gosling and the the wife, played by Carey Mulligan, shared something special while her husband was locked up in prison. But now he’s released, his situation risks harming the family. Gosling believes his driving can help.
Gosling plays a man of very few words. He’s quiet and reserved. When he meets Mulligan, we might even be led to believe that he’s shy. We understand that he’s not impassive, particularly through the relationship he builds with Mulligan’s son. But we also understand that, as a wheelman he’s no saint and something’s gone wrong somewhere. Well, we never learn much about Gosling’s backstory, just as we never learn his name. However, what we do learn is that he is very capable of taking care of business.
The film is intense from the word ‘go’. Incredibly gruesome and violent scenes are juxtaposed against moments when there are almost no words, just a stirring and evocative soundtrack, Kavinsky’s Nightcall, playing in the background.
Driver: If I drive for you, you give me a time and a place. I give you a five-minute window, anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours no matter what. I don’t sit in while you’re running it down; I don’t carry a gun… I drive.
Drive – The Opening Scene
Drive – The Elevator Scene
There are many more scenes and quotes I could put on here that are mind-blowing, but I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t seen it yet. But you must – see it.