WHAT: Drive: The Movie
By Lizandro Melean
If you go inside the movie theater thinking the new effort by Nicolas Winding Refn, the same one who did Killshot with Mickey Rourke, is another Fast and the Furious think again or better yet change your ticket and go watch Abduction with Taylor “Twilight” Lautner, although I would not recommend the latter.
This is all about a very strange and quite guy who works as a stunt double for movies at day…at night, well that’s another story. Drive is the vehicle to give a deeper look at Ryan Gossling, an actor that had my attention since he made The Notebook back in ’04. Obviously he wants to get rid of the “I’m a chick flick guy” kind of role once and for all. He’s the new actor in town, you don’t believe it? Just go online and see how many movies will come out with him just in 2011.
The best way to get into the movie is ignoring its synopsis. From his intro, with a credit sequence a la Risky Business, where you can see aerial shots of LA accompanied by a soundtrack that it may be from Milli Vanilli’s vault, starts a story which centers itself in the most important part of a script: the way it shows you the main character.
It’s impossible to obviate the comparisons between Drive and Taxi Driver, aside from the obvious wink of the title, is its way to show a study of a character where we don’t know much about him, I even dare to say we actually don’t know a thing, but like a magic trick the audience cares about every little aspect the guy lives throughout the movie.
The cinematography is similar to the one used in Quentin Tarantino´s Death Proof but without the special effect that shown the print as if it were old. Here we have a bleached palette where only the warm colors accentuate. It’s a chick flick which turns into a tour-de-force. An action movie with heart and guts here and there. It’s what I call not your typical “Bollywood” movie.
The acting is tight thanks in great part to the great adaptation from James Salli’s novel realized by Hossein Amini. Gosling is shining in here; his expression without an expression is the perfect fit for a character which past is an interrogation mark, but in certain key scenes he becomes a complex web of a character and that it’s what leaves the crowd with thirst for more. His relationship with Carey Mulligan’s character feels true and their chemistry is on in every frame they share.
Some will take as a script weakness the lack of info we get from Ryan’s character –this choice is so well done we don’t even see his house-. To me this is just spice for a good story that doesn’t leave everything written on stone because it search for that thing called “grey matter” in your brain. Claps and cheers to Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) who is showing us with every new role he’s more than Malcolm dad’s in Malcolm in the Middle.
The best way to end this review is saying: drive and watch it now. Go and unfold the vision of a perfect human being for this filmmaker which is way further from what many of us will think.
This is a story about a flesh and blood superhero, without powers, Money or highly priced articles to fight crime. It doesn’t matter if Superman puts his undies on top of his suit, we all make mistakes, what does matter is its attitude and Drive confirms it, to be a superhero –at least for a chick- you only need to have the right attitude.