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The strange world of DRIVE

DRIVE, Nicolas Winding Refn’s hyper violent, crime movie/love story is an extraordinary piece of work. The words that infiltrated my head while watching? Robots and bubblegum. Refn has created such a uniquely strange world. Everything is either soft and pillowy or luminous and plastic. It’s so stylized and clean that even the blood looks delicious.

Ryan Gosling, who plays a part time stunt driver who’s a sucker for romance, behaves more like a robot than a human. Line after line, Gosling waits a beat before delivering his dialogue so there’s not a single moment of overlap. Add to that the cleanest sound design ever, without even a trace of ambient city noise, and what do you have? A totally different planet – Planet Robot Bubblegum. This isn’t a complaint, or even a critique. So rarely does realism get tweaked just enough to be strange but not enough to thrust it into genre; It’s our world, and yet certainly not. That’s exciting storytelling, and besides, when was the last time you saw pink titles in a crime film?

–AH