I had a few hesitations about seeing 'Drive' - first I have zero interest in watching a film about someone who drives cars. Second, the film has received some ridiculously amazing reviews that I felt were impossible to live up to. I thought for sure that I would be really annoyed at the outcome - a film that was too cool for it's own good. However, I thought the film was fantastic. It was everything a film should be - memorable, intense and filled with amazing performances. Here are my thoughts:
1. It doesn't fit into any specific genre - At first glance, one might assume that it is an "action" film (car stunts, chases and crashes) but the trailer made it clear that it is more of a "crime drama". Anyone expecting either of these might be disappointed (or in my case - pleasantly surprised).
2. The intensity is striking - I think the thing that I enjoyed most about the film was that it is such a quiet film - but I was on the edge of my seat from the very first scene. The contrast of the quietness and the violence was absolutely beautiful - reflected best in the elevator scene. I think that I had to remind myself to breathe quite a few times. Of course, the "it" scene with Christina Hendriks was both literally and figuratively "mind-blowing" as well (had to do it...).
3. Ryan Gosling deserves his "golden boy" status - I'm not quite sure why Ryan has suddenly jumped on everyone's radar - but I have no complaints. I have been singing his praises ever since The Believer. He hasn't disappointed me since - he even turned a Nicholas Sparks story into something watchable (that takes some talent). In this film, he is truly sublime - and downright chilling. Obviously, credit has to be given to both writer and director - for creating a character that doesn't say much but his actions speak volumes.
4. The supporting cast was impressive - I've heard a lot of well-deserved praise for Ryan's performance, but I was also impressed by Albert Brooks. It's been a long time since I've seen him in a film - and wow was he great. Of course, Bryan Cranston was a slam-dunk. I am not really a big fan of Carey Mulligan (She was given way too much credit for An Education and was severely annoying in Wall Street 2). She was satisfying in this film - not amazing but she didn't annoy me so that was a good sign.