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In every good actor’s career there is a tipping point; a movie that really shows the world his or her full potential even if it was clear all along. Robert DeNiro had Taxi Driver, Heath Ledger had The Dark Knight. Clearly, Ryan Gosling has Drive.
This dark, enticing and sometimes disturbing story of a young getaway driver is probably the best film I have seen this year.
Gosling plays a man known to the audience only as ‘the Driver’. His name is almost unnoticeably never used by any character in the film – and for good reason. We don’t know who he is. Is he a getaway driver? A stunt driver?A mechanic? No one is really sure when he moves into a small apartment next door to a young woman named Irene and her son.
The Driver falls in love with Irene (or at least I think he does – his character is so difficult to read that it keeps you very intrigued) and spends time with her only to find out that her husband is about to be released from prison and owes a very dangerous gangster a lot of money. In a strange show of affection, the Driver agrees to help Irene’s husband steal money to repay his debt and protect Irene and her son.
Things obviously go very wrong and suddenly we find out who the Driver really is when he is forced to resort to desperate measures to make things right. The violence escalates with very little warning into a chaotic introduction to the mind of the troubled Driver and the film quickly becomes incredibly intense and frightening.
Throughout it is scripted, directed and acted absolutely superbly. I spent more time looking for flaws than anything else, just because I knew there would be so few (the music, for example, became tedious at times). Obviously, the best thing about it is Gosling. His carte blanche character without a name or clear motive is one of the best thought out and acted that I have ever seen.
Be warned, the film becomes extremely violent about half way in, and unexpectedly so if you consider how mellow it appears at first. But if you can stomach the sudden change of tone I guarantee that you will love Drive.
By Matthew du Plessis
Published By: Bronwyn Kemsley