The Ryan Gosling Review: Drive (2011)


Two weeks ago, I got invited to see College dj a set at Socialito in Lan Kwai Fong. I was unfamiliar with his music but learned that one of his songs was featured in the Drive soundtrack. It was the perfect reason to finally watch the movie.

College @ Socialito on June 22, 2013

I had heard very good things about it so my expectations were high. This can sometimes skew my perception of the film, but that was not the case. In the beginning, Gosling’s acting felt a bit contrived and limited as he played the tough, troubled lead with a hidden past. I assumed the plot would take a predictable turn and become more action-driven with cars and explosions. It was definitely action-driven, but not in a Hollywood blockbuster kind of way, which is a good thing because as naturally-gripping as that can be, Drive would be just another movie filed absentmindedly away within the “action” genre.


The film was very minimal. The interior sets were unsophisticated and straightforward and the streets of LA served as the main backdrop. The driver wore the same clothes that he apparently never washed and mumbled through his words, saying only what he needed to say. While the suspense was focused on peeling away the layers to this not-so-mysterious whodunit, I became transfixed on the nameless driver himself: for a young and simple man, he remained cool with this massacre on his hands, as if this wasn’t his first time. My favorite telling moment was the elevator scene. The driver passionately kisses Irene, the widowed wife, as a silent warning and goodbye, then beats the hitman into a bloody pulp. As this was happening, Irene slowly backs out of the elevator. The look in her eyes asks, “Who the fuck are you?” My thoughts exactly.

Even though the identity of the driver was never revealed and his future destination remains a mystery, the plot resolved itself by tying all the loose ends. I don’t think there needs to be a sequel and I’m happy to hear that there won’t be one. Not every story needs to be worn down to the bone—after all, a little mystery now and then makes for a good tall tale.

I made a Drive-inspired playlist, including two main songs from the soundtrack. Enjoy!

Original source for feature image

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