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"Pixar's Cars is a decent movie" remarked Ryan Gosling to director, Nicolas Winding Refn......"but did it do justice to the Gary Numan original?"
I'm not sure that this conversation really took place, but it could have done. Drive is a film about a near supernaturally talented stunt driver with a mysterious past and a sideline as a getaway guy. He lives a solitary life in which he spends all his time in his car listening to dark, synth pop, until he meets a young lady (Carey Mulligan). Here is an insightful, if slightly vague synopsis, written from the point of view of the film's protagonist and courtesy of Mr. Numan:
Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
Here in my car
I can only receive [one station which plays french, electronic music]
I can listen to you [aforementioned radio station]
It keeps me stable for days
Here in my car
Where the image breaks down
Will you [Carey Mulligan] visit me please
If I open my door
Here in my car
You know I've started to think
About leaving tonight
Although nothing seems right in cars."
Fortunately, Gary Numan only wrote two verses for that song so as to avoid any spoilers.
I think that audiences have been fairly divided on this film, and I can kind of see why, although I personally think its a bit of a masterpiece. There is something about listening to big, dark, synthy pop music, while driving around at night which, for me, is weird and exciting and scary and romantic and exhilarating and somehow more than the sum of its parts and...well, this film is all of those things and captures it perfectly! Oh yeah, and the sum of its parts ain't bad either!
Ryan Gosling's performance is so heaped with charisma that I didn't mind the hours of silent, meaningful looks that occupied the role usually taken by dialogue. Yes, maybe in the real world, a man would have to do a bit more talking to woo a girl like Carey Mulligan, but the film doesn't feel like real life. The closest film in tone would be something like Blade Runner; a film where robots, thought to be lifeless and unfeeling, find they have the capacity for real emotion and to fall in love and stuff. I am going to invent a new sub genre for these two films; Dream Noir; I don't know what it means but it feels right. If someone were to ask me to sum up Drive in a sentence or two, I'd probably say "You know Dream Noir?" (knowing full well they didn't because I just invented it) "Its that" and I think somehow they'd know what I mean.
Anyway, its a really good film and I can't recommend it highly enough.
SORRY, I NOW REALISE I HAVE PUT THIS UNDER THE BOPOK RATHER THAN THE DVD AS I MEANT TO, BUT I NOW CANNOT FIND THE DVD OPTION AND I CAN'T FIND HOW TO DELETE THIS REVIEW!!
I apologise in advance if this review does not seem overly helpful or informative, but I struggle to find much to say about this film, other than what a load of hyped up rubbish!
The storyline in a nutshell is about a getaway driver (played by Ryan Gosling) who has moved into an apartment near to a seemingly single mum (played by Carey Mulligan) and her young son. He comes across as a bit of a drifter, not much to say for himself, not particularly reliable, but somehow charming nonetheless. He begins to fall for his pretty neighbour but discovers that actually she is not a single mum after all, but that her husband is in prison, soon to be released. The film follows their relationship up to and following on from her husband's release. Other than that, it is difficult to describe what happens, it is kind of like several different ideas of storylines, none of which are ever followed through properly or explained fully.
What is important to point out is that I am aware that this film has been raved about by many people. Every film magazine (Empire, Total Film etc) gives it 5 stars, it has won awards, people say it is 'cool' and 'slick' and 'arty'. However, I could not have been more disappointed. I enjoy arty films and I even often enjoy the type of films that don't really go anywhere but keep you interested anyway. This was without doubt one of the most boring films I have ever seen.
I watched it with 3 friends and we all agreed it was a waste of our time. The whole way through we were waiting for something to happen. Nothing really did. Even one scene which has been remarked upon as being shocking and brutal was nothing exciting. There are huge parts of the film where nobody even speaks, they just gaze into each others eyes, which would be ok if you cared about them maybe but I really didn't. At one point, my friend actually thought she had accidentally pressed the pause button, but no, it was just that NOTHING was happening!!!
It was not only not worth the hype but even without that it was not worth an hour and half of my time!