The getaway man. The guy that's driving the car whilst the money and masked accomplices are in the back seat. In my experience of film, this character has never really become the protagonist-he's just the man that gets the villains away from the chasing police sirens. However, director Nicolas Winding Refn's film Drive, starring Ryan Gosling proved that the figure behind the wheel could be the most interesting man of all.
Something that immediately struck me about the film was the amount of silence. Gosling's character is a man of very few words; a nod here or there, a slight smile- but throughout it somehow makes him seem capable of anything, powerful and even menacing in parts. If anything, the actor made me wish i could be the quiet, elusive brooding type. Combined with his toothpick and that scorpion emblazoned racer jacket, Gosling portrays heroic potential. Interestingly Refn sights the Grimms brothers' fairytales as an influence for the film,comparing the Driver to the hero in american folklore who saves the innocent from evil and in turn exorcises his inner demons.
What i also really liked was that the plot moved past what the trailer alludes to- the movie is not solely about a man who helps criminals escape the law, neither does it become a typical fast paced love story with Carey Mulligan's character Irene as the female interest. When shown, the explicit violence seems relevant and is not overdone so that the audience becomes desensitised to the gore and brutality.
I particularly loved how cinematic the film was, scene after scene was filled with gorgeous imagery and visuals- the movie would be appealing in still pictures as well as in motion. There is even one moment when Gosling's face is covered in blood yet somewhat disturbingly it still looks beautiful...overall, the back drop of the late night city lights of california and excellent pop soundtrack create a dark, engaging dreamy experience.
If you haven't yet seen the film, i obviously highly recommend it (step away from your dvd copy of The Notebook and go and see this instead). But if you already have, check out some of the interviews online between Refn and Gosling, like this- it seems the two have built up a close, intriguing relationship as director/actor and i am highly anticipating future collaborations and what the outcomes will be.