Movie Review: DRIVE (2011) – Silent Ryan Gosling Leaves You Speechless

Published by Shah Shahid on

The 80’s had some awesome films. It was a great time. The crazy hair, the insanely long montage sequences, neon lights, the Pop Music blaring through dialogue-less drawn out scenes that further developed the isolation of the main character. Great films like that came from the 80’s, be it DIRTY DANCING, ROAD HOUSE… ah it was a glorious time that’s no longer here.  Or is it…?

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars


In 2011 I was surprised as hell to have experienced a classic 80’s film. DRIVE is a pure throwback to the 1980’s style of filmmaking that created greats like THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

When one of the opening shots of the film features dated pop music in the background, and the camera slowly panning up from the shoes to the white bomber jacket with an embroidered scorpion on it, as the main character of Ryan Gosling is revealed… it sets the entire retro tone of the movie from the get-go!

him so Swayze-like…

The story is about a Hollywood stunt car driver who moon lights as a getaway car driver for criminals. He has certain rules that he abides by, and is basically freelance. Some of the coolest driving in this film, since the first TRANSPORTER film. However, one job complicates things for him, as everything goes out of hand and his entire anally structured life goes to hell.

DRIVE is amazing. Ryan Gosling’s restrained and silent portrayal of this tortured driver is beautiful. Never are we given any back-story of who the fuck this guy is, or why he does what he does. It just unfolds, awesomely.

he has nice cars too….

The film starts VERY slow and does what every 80’s movie did, have painfully slow scenes that crawl along with music blaring, without much happening except sweeping aerial shots of the city at different points of night, and just establishing shots with amazing muzak. However, once the action starts and the stakes are raised, the audience is left holding its breathe in anticipation!

The pacing for this film is very slow, similar to the director’s other film, VALHALLA RISING. Similar themes are portrayed. A silent hero, with a mysterious past, who emotes through facial expressions and his motivations and thoughts are completely kept in the dark from the audience, until he acts. Gosling does this superbly!

watch out!! oh wait, that’s the bad guy…

DRIVE isn’t for everyone. It’s not a jaw droppingly amazing film. However, it’s made beautifully as a throwback to the retro 80’s style of filmmaking, and the lead, Gosling executes the character really well. DRIVE is worth a watch for anyone not afraid of slow films. It’s a film that is done very well and the story is interesting enough to continue watching, all the way to the riveting ending

Get The Blu ray

Shah Shahid

Entertainment Writer | Film & TV Critic | Bollywood Blogger | Host of Split Screen Podcast | Proud Geek Girl Dad


claratsi · June 17, 2012 at 8:14 PM

I loved drive and i liked your review. Its a timeless film for me even with its 80’s style and feel, when reviewing it i gave it 9/10 something about it really got a hold of me. Gosling is immense. The 80’s had some great movies and the late 80’s Roadhouse you comment on is also brilliant but i could never pinpoint why.

    Shah Shahid · June 19, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    Thanks for the lovely words.
    I didn’t think I’d like DRIVE. I expected a fast paced Thriller, but the film was very silent in it’s tone and feel. I think I loved it BECAUSE of it’s 80’s styling. Gosling is blowing up, compared to his BREAKER HIGH DAYS (yes, I grew up in Canada and used to watch that. 😐 )
    ROAD HOUSE, and the likes, are brilliant. I love throwbacks to older genres done, not as ‘period’ films, but more with the style and writing. Same reason I loved DEATHPROOF. lol.

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