Drive (2011)

Review: Drive (2011)

By yuefei
21 Oct 18

Charming, in the sense that it is absolutely ridiculous

Part of me is very tempted to call this a "Taxi Driver" set in the 21st century and a different American city. I mean, there's good reason for that, since both are bloated with ultra-violence (but "Drive" gets away with a lot more blood and guts). But stylistically, the two are very different, not to mention I couldn't take "Drive" half as seriously as I did "Taxi Driver" (which is why I find this film so charming).

Surprisingly though, by the time the song that I found hilarious both lyrically and sonically (it didn't seem to fit in with the tone of the film at the time) ended up transforming the ending sequence into something meaningful and, dare I say, poignant.

Drive, in my opinion, has quite a few flaws.

Plot-wise, this really isn't anything special (but the twists still hit good), as with all Refn films. It's the delivery that "drives" this film. Speaking of which, if the action sequences don't fill you head to toe with adrenaline, then you're not a real human being. Some of the effects were a little unconvincing, but honestly kind of add to my overall enjoyment of the film, or at least to its sense of "Refn". Cinematography felt inconsistent, but was pleasing and interesting for the most part. I had a few problems with the lighting, but it didn't distract too much from the experience. As I'd previously mentioned, I found the soundtrack to be a little out of place, but that seems to be more personal preference, seeing that others seemed to find it fitting.

Characters were fine I guess, the protagonist by far has the most interesting and complex role, which Ryan Gosling does a stunning job with. The criminal figures seemed pretty run-of-the-mill to me, but even so we still get glimpses into their lives that suggest that they are more than stereotypes and bring dimensions to them. Really sympathised with Standard and the Driver, not to mention Walter White was very likeable. Carey Mulligan's character was, by far, the most flat, but never got to the point of obnoxiousness, though she was getting close. The romance that was present in the first half of the film was almost laughable, but once again, it added to this sense of absurdity throughout the entire thing. This chemistry of the melodramatic woman and the mysterious, silent man.

Refn's obsession with Violence and Revenge really shows through the blurred morality that underlines the entire film, which shows that it's much more complex than what it appears to be.

Recommended to pretty much anyone who likes things a bit strange, a bit violent, and aren't afraid of gore. Entertaining, but a bit heavy.

Try to go in as blind as possible.

That is all.
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