Movie Review: Drive (2011)

Drive tricks you at the start by using a pink script font to introduce the cast and crew, to the beat of pulpy music. Viewers follow a soft-spoken getaway driver played by Ryan Gosling on a job, where he demonstrates his skills, and then we watch him shyly fall in love with his cute next-door neighbor, played by whatserface from An Education. Carey Mulligan, that's it. The Driver (also known as "kid") and neighbor and her little boy enjoy quiet moments together, and it's adorable and sweet and you really root for them to get together. Then the movie veers into ultra-violence mode. Drive gets really dark really quickly, and Boyfriend and I spent the last 45 minutes cringing at all the heads being blown off/ skulls being smashed in/ people getting their forearms slit/ being drowned/ stabbed/ et cetera. WHOA! And the entire time, Gosling's voice never goes above a murmur.

This is a very technically competent film, with unbelievably good cinematography and a deliberate use of slow motion shots and thematic music. I especially liked the song "A Real Hero" by College. There's a gritty realism to the acting, and let's not forget all the makeup used to make Christina Hendricks look less gorgeous. The story is linear, with some very quick flashbacks during key scenes to establish plot points. In Drive, it's the storytelling style that really shines. Come for the Gosling, stay for the film techniques.