----DRIVE (2011)---- 🚗🦂🐸
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks
Writers: Hossein Amini (Screenplay) & James Sallis (Book)
Cinematographer: Newton Thomas Sigel
Composer: Cliff Martinez
My verdict: 10/10
I first watched this movie knowing nothing about the plot, the director's filmography, Gosling's adeptness at portraying a quiet charismatic psychopath and the gorgeously shot noir tone. Upon first viewing, I was blown away by the visuals, 80s style synth soundtrack and the dreamlike mood.
Right from the start, the meditative practice of night driving resonates with me. Neon city lights bleed into a sky that surrounds you like a dark shell. You are one with your car, armoured as you speed down a lonely street, your focus on the road immediately ahead and the hard-candy glitter of your dashboard instruments. There is a sensation of total freedom, and with it, a lurking, terrifying thrill: Thanatos, the death drive. You know that you could be pulverised at any moment.
The mysterious Driver, who doesn't talk much, epitomises Joseph Campbell's 'Hero's Journey' Monomyth. The Driver is on the hero's journey and the car is his supernatural aid, his talisman. .
The scorpion and the frog fable is also central to the story: the Driver is in fact the frog who carries the scorpion on his back (signified by his jacket). In offering a mode of transportation to the violent criminals he is putting himself in the hands of people who cannot change their nature and will ultimately bring him down with them – the final job being initiated significantly at the bank of a river.
Drive is a masterpiece. It is a film that hits every single note perfectly. The many things that’s amazing about Drive is the use of music, which I still listen to on my night drives.
“I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you're on your own. I don't sit in while you're running it down. I don't carry a gun. I drive." - The Driver