I’m not sure how much of a recommendation it is to say that even a few days after watching a film you don’t know quite how much you enjoyed it.
But that’s what I feel about Drive, a noirish thriller starring Ryan Gosling as a (taciturn) mechanic and Hollywood film stunt man who moonlights as a very in demand getaway driver.
His rules are simple: he always works anonymously, he never works for the same person twice and he only gives the people he’s driving for five minutes to get in and get out.
"Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you’re on your own. "
However, that all goes out of the window when he becomes attracted to a neighbour (Carey Mulligan), whose husband Standard has just been released from prison – and agrees to do a job with the husband to protect her and her son.
The job goes wrong, Standard is killed and The Driver (Gosling) realises that he has been set up…
If that all sounds quite standard thriller, it really isn’t. Even the violence, of which there’s some quite graphic examples, doesn’t feel very violent. It feels a bit like Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs in that regard.
And that’s maybe why it’s taken such a time for me to decide whether I enjoyed it or not: apparently the film was originally intended as a blockbuster with Hugh Jackman as the lead, but was recast with Gosling and Nicholas Refn as director and would probably be termed an arthouse flick.
It’s certainly beautifully shot and is worth watching for the soundtrack alone. (I had Sound Hound on almost permanently throughout the film!) But for all that it sometimes feels like a 90-minute pop video, it’s actually better than that. It’s just hard to work out exactly what it is…and whether in the end that matters.
Definitely worth seeing, if only to make up your own mind…