When I saw the trailer to Drive, I wasn’t to thrilled to see it. The night it came out, my friends asked me to see it. I said yes but my decision was based on the fact that Bryan Cranston had a roll in it. I had pretty low expectations walking in but when I walked out I remember telling myself “that is one of the best movies I have ever seen”. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what about the movie I really liked. It wasn’t until a second viewing, through seeing the movie from within, that I learned what it was that intrigued me.
Before I go on to explain what I found in Driver, I believe its important to note two things , the story is set in LA, and the protagonist works in movies. This is a story that could only take place in LA, the land of dreams. If you skip ahead in the movie, when the Driver is wooing his soon to be lover (his neighbor Irene), he takes Irene and her kid for a afternoon drive through a drainage river. This is a very iconic spot that has been featured in many movies such as Terminator 2 (chase scene). The setting of LA is important, with many aerial shots of the glistening city, it shows the distance of the Driver from the outside world. Also to consider, there is an obvious connection for LA, it is home to Hollywood, the factory behind movies. The fact that the Driver is a Hollywood stuntman makes it seem as a narrative device but the importance of this is seen as the movie goes on. It is through the Driver’s Hollywood connections that he comes into contact with Bernie, a former movie producer turned violent gangster. His line, “I used to make movies in the ’80s. Action films, sexy stuff … one critic called them European,” seems like an obvious comment on the film itself, referring to the period of time from which Drive seems to get its influence from. I remember the director having an unfamiliar first and last name, so its possible he was talking about himself as the director.
I noticed that the majority of thugs...
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