Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Producer: Michel Litwak, John Palermo, Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, Gigi Pritzker
Drive is an action thriller that starts off slowly but picks up momentum mid-way through the film. The film tells the story of a nameless driver Ryan Gosling who doubles up as a stuntman in Hollywood and a mechanic in a garage. Besides these day-jobs, Gosling’s character also uses his driving skills late in the night to help criminals make a fast escape. 5 minutes is all he gives his clients, not a minute more, not a minute less before he makes a hasty retreat from the scene of the crime. Gosling’s life takes a 360 degree turn after a chance encounter with his neighbour Irene (Carey Mulligan). Irene is a single mom who lives with her son as her husband Standard (Oscar Isaac) is in prison. Gosling’s character finds himself increasingly drawn towards Irene until one fine day her husband returns after he is set free from prison. When he sees that Standard is being threatened by some criminals to payback a hefty amount of money, Gosling’s character offers to help him by pulling off one last job so he can pay off the criminals who’ve been threatening the wife and kid. Things, however, go badly wrong and Gosling’s character finds himself trapped in the midst of ruthless mob bosses who would go to any lengths to get back their money. How Gosling fights back and protects those whom he cares for (Irene and her son) forms the rest of the story.
For a title like Drive, one would expect the film to move at a super-sonic speed. However that is not to be. The film is poetic in nature often using silences and slow motion to express the feelings of its main characters. Even the background score plays an important part in the narrative of the film from time to time. It’s hard to describe Drive as a full on commercial film as the pacing is quite slow especially in the initial reels and the film takes its own sweet time to gather some momentum. Nevertheless director Nicolas Winding Refn (who won the Best Director award for this film at Cannes) bring in his own unique style to the narrative. On a parting note, the film is high on violence and definitely not for the faint-hearted.
As far as performances go, Drive belongs completely to Ryan Gosling who is simply remarkable. The actor has minimal dialogues but uses his eyes well to emote what his character is going through. Carey Mulligan is sweetly cast as the young single mom. Oscar Isaac hardly gets any scope.
The film’s duration is 99 minutes
The Special Features section consists of the Making of the Film broken up into 4 different parts as follows:
I Drive: This one has interviews with producers Marc Platt and Adam Siegel who explain how the idea of making a movie like this first came about. This section gives a basic overview of how screenplay writer Hossein Amini adapted the book Drive onto the big screen
Under The Hood: This one features interviews with the supporting cast of the film including Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac, Ron Perlman Albert Brooks each of whom talk about their character and working with the genius called Nicolas Winding Refn
Driver and Irene: This section features on the subtly beautiful love story between Ryan Gosling’s character and Irene (Carey Muligan). Writer Hossein and producers Marc Platt and Adam Siegel talk about how they wanted the love track to be very subtle.
Continuing the Chase– This section talks about how the crew filmed the various car chase sequences.
Besides this there is also an in-depth interview with director Nicolas Winding Refn as he takes you through the creation of the film right from its conceptualization stage till completion
Strangely there is no interview with Ryan Gosling in the entire making section
– 2.40-1 Anamorphic Widescreen Presentation
– Languages- English
– Subtitles- English
Drive is no doubt brilliantly directed by Nicolas Winding Refn and has Ryan Gosling deliver a stellar performance yet it’s a not a film that will appeal to everyone. The treatment is more suited for a film festival audience. As far as the special features go, the DVD does provide ample footage of what went behind the making of this film.
Rating: * * * 1/2