segunda-feira, setembro 26, 2011

Drive (2011)

"A hyper-stylized blend of striking imagery and violence, Drive represents a fully realized vision of arthouse action."

I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that this has been the best movie of 2011 so far... and it will probably hold on to that status!

Directed by Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling in the leading role, Drive (2011) went on having a very successful turn at Cannes Festival, winning the "Best Director" category and being nominated for a Palm d'Or. 

So... being highly praised by critics and audience worldwide, the hype was colossal! I had to find out what was it so good about this movie that had everyone talking about...

Got settled in a almost full room and gazed at the big screen while the hot-pink title for Drive came up the screen... After the first minutes it didn't took long to realize that the directing was superb and as time went by, the acting became increasingly better and the plot more interesting and intense!

The Danish "maestro" made it very artistically executed with a huge amount of European flair...
Handling really nice shots and making sure that everything was edited with elegance and style, giving it not only an outstanding look, but also a proper pace and rhythm!

Gosling on the other side of the camera delivered one of his best performances yet... only being outmatched by his portrayal of an addict school teacher in Half Nelson (2006)...

It would seem that a wonderful partnership was born between Refn and Gosling... 

Both of these men where excellent choices for their respective tasks... and who would have known? Nicolas W. Refn was Gosling's responsibility! He was given the authority to pick the director in case he accepted the Driver's part and he went for the man behind projects such as the Pusher Trilogy, Bronson (2008) or Valhalla Rising (2009)!

If it seemed like a bold move... now it's safe to say it was the right move, because Refn went on to make an extraordinary job!

But let's not forget the supporting cast that, like the director and main star, also share this work's success!

With Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Oscar Isaac, Ron Perlman and Albert Brooks,  this ensemble cast provides different ingredients that certainly add up a whole lot of quality to the noir-thriller!

Special mention to Mr. Brooks who went on to have the best performance of them all, with a role that curiously enough goes against what you could call his nature, since he is an actor typed-cast as "nice guy".
If you followed only part of his career, it will be more than enough to have a sense of how "shocking" was the turn he just gave by playing the main antagonist!

As for other highlights of Drive...

The cars chases are amazing, even gathering a lot of comparisons with Bullitt (1968), a Steve McQueen classic that was made famous for having the best car chase in cinema history!

The dialogues I believe they are genuine and efficient... Not much is said, especially if you consider that Ryan Gosling doesn't "open his mouth" through most of the film... Kind of reminding Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone's features, in which not only you didn't get to know the characters name, but also he wouldn't speak very often...

The violence is a key factor... One that raised some controversy due to it's excessive and maybe unnecessary use, but in my opinion it works out as an element that will pull out of the audience great reactions, like if they were given big doses of adrenaline! It somehow became necessary, not because the action was getting dull, but because it helped stimulate awareness on how cruel and evil are the surroundings of that whole L.A scenario! But even with such graphic scenes and almost a gore display in certain parts, there is also a very crucial and intense love story beneath it, as most of the things done through the story, are done for the love of a woman, for who the Driver goes out of his way to aid!

Some of these influences that I stated just come to show how Refn is a movie buff when it comes to collect bits and pieces of other major artistic and cult length features, but the Bullit and Leone references are just the tip of the iceberg... as it's biggest influence (between many others, including another movie by the name of The Driver (1978)) is the 2005 novel with the same name, written by James Sallis.

One other vital component of this flick is the soundtrack... something that I would rather not give away major thoughts about, since it will have it's own post, however, let me just tell you that it's "spot on" in terms of what it adds to this masterpiece development. 

Cliff Martinez, former drummer for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers takes care of most of the score, but you can also find other tracks... most of them just flowing and glowing 80's electro-pop music, that along with the pink generic font for the title and generic/credits (much like the ones used back in the day with Miami Vice or even more so, Risky Business), the vintage car and Gosling's "scorpio jacket", just pumps up the retro look for Drive.

So in conclusion... You better go see it if you want to witness a modern day classic in the theatres!

4 comentários:

Madalena disse...

vi e gostei imenso duarte! e o angelo badalamenti faz com que valha tanto mais a pena... espero que esteja tudo bem contigo! saudades!

Duartinho disse...

Allo Madalena! Long time no see!
Este filme ta altamente!! O meu favorito do ano ate agora!

Porque e que comentaste Angelo Badalamenti? Tem alguma coisa a haver com o filme?

Como e que tas?


Madalena disse...

Realmente eu agora fiquei confusa... Nos credits, logo no início aparece music by angelo badalamenti, mas nao há confirmação nenhuma na net disso. anyway, a musica pareceu-me muito o género dele - não sei se há aqui algum lapso.

Eu estou bem, já em portugal há uns meses e agora a fazer a tese. E tu? está tudo a correr bem aí? Continuas a gostar?

Grande beijinho!

Duartinho disse...

A banda sonora e do Cliff Martinez, dai ter achado estranho.

Aqui ta tudo a correr lindamente. Tou colado ao PC a acompanhar o unveiling do novo iPhone haha

Trabalho corre bem... tou aqui ate aos Jogos Olimpicos depois logo se ve. Tenho de reflectir bastante.

Ve se vens a Londres.
Grande beijinho!