Drive, an instant cult classic, happened to me as I was doing my usual browsing through the new Hollywood trailers in YouTube. The trailer wasn’t quite catchy in the first view until I saw the best director 2011 at Cannes de festival label, which prompted me for a look at the user comments that eventually led me ending up with IMDb. Damn, it has a whooping 8.2 score. I should say, I haven’t seen such praising comments in YouTube for a just released movie which don’t have a strong banner to back up such as the Transformers or Harry potter or The Dark Knight or even the stupid Twilight. I usually go doing WoW, if the trailer has a Steven Spielberg or a Christopher Nolan. This one had nothing peculiar except for Ryan Gosling, who for me seemed to be the only familiar name, thanks to Notebook.
The user reviews grabbed most of my attention with some recommending everyone to watch this movie in a decent movie theatre to cherish the whole magical Drive experience at its best. And yet another who got one of the best days in ages just coz he bunked his university lecture and chose to watch this new flick in a cinema. I have always been a movie enthusiast who prefers watching movies only if it gets released in some of my favorite screens back in my hometown, Kochi. As I have left India, the new screens in New Zealand took quite some time to be familiarized with, my favorite being the XtremeScreen at Hoyts. Unfortunately Drive wasn’t playing in XremeScreen which was pretty much a disappointment but never mind, the other Hoyts screens still deserved a class and decency of its own. Guess what, the movie was actually chosen to be screened in one of the finest screens Cinema 5, where I have previously watched the spectacular Avatar in 3D, next only to the XtremeScreen though.
The movie started off with some low key warehouse robbery pretty much like in Transporter but with much intense and realistic getaway choices. The whole ambience was so in par with reality filled with neon flashlights, traffic signals, helicopter spotlights etc. The chase stands out entirely different from that used by Jason Statham in Transporter, as Ryan Gosling preferred to go unnoticed rather than being aggressive. The progressive background score takes us with a storm to the title credits with Drive flashing on in a pink color. The retro soundtrack is so addictive and haunting that it still runs through my head making me wonder if there is an MP3 player being installed with some Drive playlist in my brain. The hero resembles something like an Eastwood with short yet legendary dialogues and silences. The beautiful Carey Mulligan lights up the movie drowning its storyline with romance to an action plot. The pace and mood of the whole movie is exceptionally brilliant. I would give a whole lot of credit for the Cinematography by Newton Thomas Sigel synchronized perfectly with the magical music score by Cliff Martinez and of course the Danish Director Nicolas Winding Refn for his spectacular US debut.
This is pretty much like a stylish adaptation of the Steve McQueen movies of the 60’s and so don’t expect any Fast and the Furious action junk. Instead we could expect a beautifully crafted masterpiece wrapped up with breathtaking original soundtracks. There are some extreme blood spilling violence and traces of nudity restricting the film with an R rating. But this one should never be missed, as movies like this happens only once in a decade or so. This is definitely a must watch and possibly the coolest movie in years which does justice to every frame filling up with nothing but pure excellence.