Drive

Drive is a film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, from a screenplay by Hossein Amini, from a novel by James Sallis. The Driver (Ryan Gosling) works as a mechanic, as a stunt driver, and as a getaway driver for robberies. He gets into a relationship with his neighbor, Irene (Carey Mulligan), who has a son, Benicio (Kaden Leos). Irene’s husband, Standard Gabriel (Oscar Isaac), returns from prison. He owes protection money to a gangster. The Driver agrees to help him rob a pawn shop. It quickly becomes apparent that the two of them have bee set up.

Drive is a fairly simple gangster story, full of double crosses and car chases. Unfortunately, Refn tries to give the film artistic touches. There are shots of the Driver and Irene gazing into each other’s eyes or into the distance, while pop music blares on the soundtrack. There are also overhead shots of Los Angeles, to remind us, I suppose, that the film takes place in Los Angeles. I would have liked Drive better without such moments. A film like this only needs dialogue and action. It needs to be a “good, swift, violent story” as Dashiell Hammett would have said.

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