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"I don't sit in while you're running it down. I don't carry a gun. I drive."
Drive is a unique and daring film that has the audience immersed in its world in the first five minutes. Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Only God Forgives) is behind the wheel of this cinematic masterpiece. He shows his versatility by not only executing visually beautiful and evocative scenes, but he also creates action sequences that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson, Blue Valentine) leads a stellar cast as the unnamed 'Driver' who has three occupations, by day he is a stunt driver/car mechanic and by night he is an exceptional getaway driver who offers his talents to the highest bidder. He is a loner with little to say, with the potential to be incredibly brutal, he could burst into a violent rampage in a heartbeat to protect the ones he cares for. The only company he keeps is 'Shannon', owner of the garage where the driver works, and is portrayed amicably by Bryan Cranston.
However, the story takes an enthralling turn when the driver becomes involved with his neighbour (Carey Mulligan) and her husband (Oscar Isaac), an ex-con, who owes money to the wrong people. Gosling's character offers his services, that sets off a deadly chain of events that lead to the introduction of the films primary antagonists: two mob bosses, chillingly played by Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman, with Brooks even shaving his eyebrows in a bid to appear more menacing in the role.
Drive will surely be acknowledged as one of the best films of the past decade and will become a cult favourite in the years to come, it is a must see for any film fanatic. It's tremendously directed with equally endearing acting. The film exudes style with it's 80's electro style soundtrack. The brightest light of the star studded cast is Gosling, who in spite of having very little dialogue, gives a brilliant performance with his facial expressions and body language, he thoroughly shows why he earned an Oscar nomination for his performance in Half Nelson. The cinematography will undoubtedly be studied for years to come, it is evident that every frame was meticulously planned. A perfect example of this: during the first getaway scene, the camera never leaves the car, fully immersing the viewer in the film's reality.
Although the film may sound action packed, it is not. However it still provides an exhilarating thrill ride with help from it's intriguing story and likable characters. Drive is also one of the most brutally violent and gore filled films I've ever seen, If you are not comfortable with violence then this may not be for you. Winding Refn makes a familiar plot feel fresh, he injects his own stylized tone and hidden symbolism, which makes the film much more artistic and thought provoking. Drive is a riveting and haunting experience that will clutch its fingers around your spine and not release you until the end credits roll.