Under your spell

My attitude towards film is similar to my attitude towards music. I dont make a point of knowing an awful lot about it, and it is widely known amougst my peers that my favourite film ever is the Will Smith alien-punching classic Independence Day. However, I do appreciate good cinema, and nothing has delighted me as much as the film that everyone is talking about at the moment: Drive.

Now, film fans beware, what is about to follow is not an in-depth well thought out critique, but more  just some words on why the film is BLOODY AMAZING AND EVERYONE SHOULD GO AND SEE IT.

I dont even know where to start. I’m not a car/racing/hesit/shoot-out fan, and on first seeing the trailer for this film I assumed thats what it would be, like a slightly cooler version of The Fast and the Furious. I also, and girls please forgive me for this, was not a particularly big fan of Ryan Gosling. The Notebook was depressing and I hadn’t really seen him in much else, so all in all I wasnt that fussed. Little did I know I was in for two hours of gorgeous, retro, stylish, tense and simply haunting cinema, centered around a love story like no other.

What I particularly liked was the lack of dialogue. Quite the opposite to the disappointement of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, where there was little dialogue and I didn’t have a clue what was going on, I understood every tiny thing that was happening in Drive, just with the visual alone. One scene in a motel springs to mind, when the viewer pieces together what is about to happen exactly as the ‘Driver’ himself pieces it together. The opening scene is also another good example. Aside from a brief sentence from the Driver at the very beginning, the first 10/15 mintues of the film are completely dialogue free, and the viewer is instantly immersed in tense real-time  getaway scene, all the time seeing the thought process going on inside the Driver’s head.

Much of the reason why this works is down to the superior performance of, and girls you can forgive me now, Ryan Gosling. The power of his acting depsite such little dialogue is outstanding. His facial expressions and eye movements deserve their own Oscar. His love for Irene and Benecio comes across so well, and his solitude reminded me of Jean Reno’s Leon.

Of course, I cannot talk about Drive without talking about the soundtrack. The beautifully haunting sounds of 80s electronica pop fill your ears and take over the screen, and it’s unlike any other soundtrack I have ever heard on film. It stays with you for quite sometime after seeing the film. In fact the first thing I did when I got home was to find out the names of the songs and download them.

I cant really say much else, other than go and see this if you haven’t already. It stays with you, leaves you feeling oddly warm, a little shocked, slightly sad, and amazed.

Below are some links to the soundtrack. I’m off to listen to them now, and also reply to the barage of emails I’m likely to get from saying that I found the Notebook depressing. Enjoy!

Main song by Kavinsky – Nightcall

My personal favourite, College ft. Electric Youth – A Real Hero.

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