Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive is great filmmaking at its best – a story of enormous depth, told simply, which is visually stunning without being overly showy. There’s also that soundtrack. The film still holds-up a decade on.
Drive is a stripped down action-thriller for the art-house crowd, the perfect antidote to Hollywood’s overly glossy car movies like The Fast and the Furious franchise or Gone in Sixty Seconds. Based on James Sallis’ novel of the same name, Drive sees Ryan Gosling play a character only known as Driver, a stuntman by day and getaway driver at night, whose relationship with single parent Carey Mulligan throws his simplistic life into a tailspin.
It’s difficult to watch Drive and imagine how it was originally perceived; as a big budget Hugh Jackman action thriller, with The Descent’s Neil Marshall lined up to direct. However that film may have turned out, it wouldn’t have been as wonderful as Winding Refn’s neo-noir. The beating heart of the film is Cliff Martinez’ 80s style, synth-tinged score, which throbs throughout the movie, adding further emotion to cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel’s glistening camerawork.
In 2011, Drive grossed $35 million at the US box office and more than $77 million worldwide.