We've watched a lot of heist movies. We've also watched many 'heist gone wrong' movies. But, this one is not quite like the ones we've watched before.
DRIVE is a movie about Ryan Gosling who works as a movie stunt man, car mechanic at a garage and a wheelman helping the burglars getaway from the scene of crime. He leads a lonely life and gets sucked into his neighbour Carrey Mulligan's life when he meets her by chance. She is a married woman with a kid and is waiting for her husband to be released from Prison. Gosling forms an emotional bond with Mulligan and her kid and becomes part of their lives. Mulligan's husband gets out of jail and in interesting circumstances gets along with Gosling for a heist. But, this heist goes wrong and Gosling falls into a web of dangerous backlash from the mob and this gets intertwined with his relationship with Mulligan and her kid. The story is then about how he manages to break all the shackles.
Its a simple story with no great layered approach to the narration. But, its the treatment to this story by the director Nicholas Wending Refn that makes this movie go from good to brilliant. Ryan Gosling is mindblowing in his understated and subtle performance. His interactions wih Mulligan are the highlights of the movie. Through out the movie, director goes for fewer dialogues than what would have seemed adequate. He lets the scenes unfold using clever pauses and great background score. He also loads confrontation scenes with violence and doesn't shy away from showing the brutal side of the leading character.
I would be pleased to see Gosling fetching an oscar nomination for his performance but the chances are next to none going by the genre and the tone of the movie. Academy prefers to stay away from this kinda movie.
Fast paced thrillers are ruling the roost these days but its a slow paced, stylish and effortless movie like this one that comes across like a breath of fresh air. Its not your regular edge-of-the-seat thriller but it is more in the space of a Mulholland Drive in which there is no visible urgency for the story to unfold.
Watch this movie and be sure to get treated with this stylish side of Hollywood that entices the audience of better movies in days of mindless, 'heavily loaded with routine action' and cliches days!