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Drive Film Review

“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.”

One of the sleeper cult hits of last year and now available in shops, this is the story of a stunt driver and mechanic by day but come moonlight absconds to become a getaway driver.  The driver (Ryan Gosling) finds himself at the centre of of LA.s seedy underworld due to the fact that his boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston) is firmly in the palms of Bernie (Albert Brooks) and Nino (Ron Perlman).  What is initially a mutual business agreement between Bernie and Shannon with the driver driving for the pair in stock car racing goes sour.

The driver lives next door to Irene (Carey Mulligan) with her child Benice. After becoming initially close with the pair obviously being attracted to each other, her husband soon returns home after serving a sentence in prison. Standard (Oscar Isaac) is however expected to a job for the people who protected him in prison. He refuses and is beaten badly as a result of it. The driver decides to help seeing as how he is close to Irene and Benice but it soon goes awry.

Drive is an excellent film. It excels in delivering a well strung appealing narrative delivering on both characterisation as well as some thumping set pieces. The slow methodical pace of the film early on is deliberation for the audience to know the two main characters and how their initial friendship grows into the driver protecting her with such sincerity. What is also of note is the combination of the soundtrack and the slow-mo. It strikes a chord early on with the essence of style and evoking emotion from that particular scene with aplomb.

If I could criticise Drive, it would be for not having too many action drive scenes but on the flip side to that, having too many would make it sparse in the already crowded genre and be seen as a shoddy Transporter clone. It is not the action that makes this film appealing but simply the depth in narrative, the brilliance in acting from Gosling and Albert Brooks in particular.

The film at times is slow, deep, emotional and darkly violent with a particularly violent slow motion scene which shows its brutal side to the film. An excellent film and its a shame that I cannot write much more than 400 words as it is one of the best films I have ever seen.  *****

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