When I first read the synopsis of Drive I did not know what to expect from it. Would it be an action movie? Would it be a film about cars with lots of car chases driving around? Would it be something completely different? I was not very interested to watch it but my girlfriend really insisted, and boy, was I surprised.
Drive is a film about emotions and characters. It sets the tone very quickly with the main character uttering a total of 2 lines in the first ten minutes. A man in control of his life amidst the urban depression. Even the rolling introduction credits were a surprise. I immediately thought of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and I was not far off. From the credits to the shiny silver jacket the main character is wearing, to the fantastic soundtrack all set an 80s feeling throughout the movie without the story taking place in this flamboyant decade. Just the decadence and the sense of lost, of this era is brought to us from the movie.
The main character is a stunt driver that works in a garage and during the nights he drives for robberies. The character is not the cool, do it for the thrill, type of guy. He is actually the genuine nice, kind-hearted, type. We do not know why he does it, so we assume for the extra money, since there is nothing luxurious about his lifestyle. In the course of the story he meets a girl and with no agenda he decides to help her. It sounds simple and it probably is, but the emotions generated are very powerful. The main character is emotion-driven not interested about petty gains.
The action in the movie is actually very little but when we do see it, it is intense, powerful and very well directed. When we do see it, it needs to be there, we justify it and it actually serves a purpose to move the story forward, or to tell us something about the characters. The over all direction is superb and flawless. Nicolas Winding Refn is playing with what we see, what we do not see and what we think we are about to see. It is a thrilling ride...
The rest of the characters are all very interesting and serve their purpose well. At some points I actually felt like playing a Grand Theft Auto game(a blend between Vice City and GTA4). You 've got the filthy maniacs, you 've got the honest but troubled husband, the genuine friend, the thoughtful but evil guy and all of them have their part to play in the story. All the actors do a very good job with their performance delivering a very special overall cast package.
I want to make a special brief mention about the music in the film. It is an absolutely fantastic soundtrack. It is definitively not something I would listen to on my own, but after listening to it during the course of this movie I loved it because it was so well blended with each scene.
I intentionally did not include a trailer in this post. Do not watch the trailer, just watch the movie.
Over all, this is a must-see. Highly recommended.