“Drive” is a 2011 American crime action/drama film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. Set in Los Angeles, it depicts the story of a driver who gets involved in a bloody gang war in the underworld after getting involved in a relationship with a married woman. The screenplay was based on the novel of the same name (2005) by James Sallis. 100 minutes.
The Driver (Ryan Gosling) lives a lonely life without family and friends, working as a mechanic at an auto garage in Los Angeles, California. He has excellent driving techniques. He works part-time as a movie stunt driver, and he also works as a getaway car driver for robbers. His jobs are all managed by auto garage owner Shannon (Bryan Cranston).
Shannon plans to make the Driver enter a car race to make money, and he asks crime boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and Rose’s partner Nino ‘Izzy’ Paolozzi (Ron Perlman) to invest in it.
The Driver gets to know Irene Gabriel (Carey Mulligan), who is his neighbor living in the same apartment. Her husband is serving time in prison, and she lives with her little son Benicio. The Driver develops an intimate relationship with Irene and Benicio.
Irene’s husband, Standard Gabriel (Oscar Isaac) is released from prison. Albanian gangster Chris Cook (James Biberi) threatens Standard to kill his family unless he robs a pawn shop of $40,000 in payment for debts. Finding that the lives of Irene and Benicio are in danger because of Standard’s debt, the Driver offers to act as the getaway driver for the pawn shop robbery for free.
Standard goes into the pawn shop with his accomplice, a woman called Blanche (Christina Hendricks). Blanche robs the shop of money and gets back into the Driver’s car, but Standard is shot dead by the pawn shop owner. The Driver and Blanche escape in the car. Another car pursues them.
The bag brought back by Blanche contains $1 million. The Driver finds that Standard was used for stealing the East Coast Italian Mafia’s big money hidden in the pawn shop, and Nino is the mastermind of the plan.
To protect themselves from the revenge by the East Coast Italian Mafia, Bernie and Nino are going to kill everyone involved in the robbery. Blanche is killed with a shotgun by one of Cook’s henchmen. Cook and Shannon are killed by Bernie.
The Driver runs away with the mafia’s money, killing the pursuers. To protect the lives of Irene and Benicio, he launches a counterattack against Nino and Bernie.
“Drive” is a crime action film/neo-noir featuring a simple storyline, like the Western film “Shane” (1953) directed by George Stevens, the elements of B-grade crime action movies and love romances, stylish and artistic images, and violent action.
Need to note that the film contains a lot of brutal and bloody murder scenes.
The electronic music of the soundtrack creates a cool impression.
The theme song of the film “Goodbye Uncle Tom/Addio zio Tom” (1971) directed by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi, “Oh My Love” (composed by Riz Ortolani) is used in the sequence in which the Driver chases Nino.
The film was nominated for four British Academy Film Awards: Best Film, Best Direction, Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Carey Mulligan), and Best Editing, and it also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Editing.
Refn won the Best Director Award at the 64th Cannes Film Festival.