Experiment 626 (which may, or may not be Stitch's real name) is an event embarked upon by the I'm With Geek Film Team. Film knowledge was unearthed, truths were found and a DVD exchange took place. These are the true life stories from that experiment...
To Will from Jo
Drive is a film that is so simple yet inspired by so many different genres. The film could be described as a neo-noir heist thriller. The film also has the undertones of a Western. At the heart of the film is a passionate encounter between a single mother and the films edgy man of few words lead played to perfection by Ryan Gosling.
Following its unnamed anti-hero driver who works part time as a stunt double and at night as a criminal get away driver. He forms a close relationship with his neighbour, Irene and her young son. The return of Irenes ex-con husband draws him into a dangerous heist that puts everyone involved at risk.
To enhance the visuals, the film gives us a great soundtrack that helps enhance characters thoughts and actions.
Ryan Gosling has never been better. For those that dismiss him as a pretty poster boy, despite his impressive pre-mainstream body of work, this is a must. His character is the ultimate dual persona. Gentle and kind at times but with a appitite for violence and crime. The film may have been snubbed by the majority of mainstream awards but its a film that resonates with audiences and is the best from director Nicolas Winding Refn.
Wow. It's such a small word that carries such heavy meaning, and that meaning applies so aptly to Drive. From the get go, you know you're not watching the typical blockbuster action film, as Gosling's almost silent protagonist sits cooly in his car, waiting for his passengers to finish their 'job'. We're treated to a man with nerves of steel and an unfaltering presence navigate the thieves to safety, avoiding police cars and helicopters without breaking a sweat, all to a constant, droning heartbeat. As opening scenes go, this is a supreme set up providing a clear idea of where we're heading.
As Jo mentioned, the Driver's relationship with Irene really drives the story, as we watch this awkward romance develop, we're keenly aware of that things are not going to stay so sunny, and when Irene's husband, Standard, returns, the entire tone changes, replacing the serenity and control with violence and murder. Standard is involved with the wrong people who want him to do a job for them. After the Driver finds him beaten to a pulp in front of his son, he volunteers to help him do the job to protect Irene and her son. Little does he realise that the job, a heist, is connected to the local gangsters who've just signed a deal with his garage owner boss (played by Bryan Cranston). After the heist goes horribly wrong, the Driver is forced into a violent conflict that ends up costing him everything.
In an odd juxtaposition, the film is fairly slow-paced, opting to trade in the quick actions scenes for brutal conflict and stunning, slow motion visuals that draw the viewer in. There's always a danger that violence can cheapen a film when used in an over-the-top manner. But Drive respects the appropriate use of brutality, portraying an honest, if disturbing, image of the world our character is immersed in. The fact that most of the graphically violent scenes are shown in slow motion adds to the shocking honesty this film tries to put across, especially seeing Christina Hendricks head explode...
Drive works. It doesn't follow the standard tropes of action films. It's not a blockbusting CGI extravaganza, rife with explosions and world-ending scenarios... but it really works. Thank you, Jo, for assigning this wonderful film to me.