Enter Hero. Enter Psycho. Enter Saviour. Enter Devil. Enter Driver.
Ryan Gosling plays the unnamed protagonist in Nicolas Winding Refn’s new film about a Hollywood stuntdriver, who makes some extra cash by doubling as a get-away driver, THE get-away driver. A stoic character who apparently hasn’t heard of the term “adrenalin”, the man is as calculated and precise in his life as he is when he is doing dangerous stunts for action movies.
Enter Carey Mulligan’s angel-faced, kind-hearted, single mother, Irene, who cannot but disturb his self-imposed apathy, as evidenced by his shy, child-like smile, which shows up whenever she’s around. Despite his illegal preoccupations, Driver has strong personal principles, showing unconditional kindness towards Irene, her little son, and even her husband, after he returns from prison. A true gentleman. Also a psychopath.
When former associates of the husband show up and threaten the woman he won’t verbally admit he loves, his response is quick and extremely brutal. Hammers are used for purposes the makers did not intend, lives are ended by shot-guns and heads are bashed in with boots. All in their uncensored inglory.
Channeling Robert de Niro’s Travis Bickle and Chan-wook Park’s OLDBOY, DRIVER makes his own justice, and woe to those who stand in his way. The film repeatedly goes from naught to sixty in mere seconds, from very intense quiet moments to explosive scenes of violence, blurring the line between hero and villain. It will draw you in from first to final breath.