I get the impression that this was created to be a modern day Taxi Driver. Just remove half the letters and you’ve got the same title. The overall mood of this film and the character development feels similar.
This movie did it’s job of pulling me in right away, and didn’t let go. The music, atmosphere, character introduction and character development all captivated me. This is a classic there’s something wrong with that boy, but he sure can handle himself story. I like those stories, because I don’t quite fit social conventions myself, and I think most of us enjoy watching such characters because we all get tired of social convention at some point and like to watch someone stir things up. I want that jacket.
Of course, that’s only describing the first half of the movie. I’m not gonna tell you the plot. This is one of those stories that you need to experience one step at a time. You don’t need to know where you’re going, you just need to enjoy the ride. Although if you want to know where the movie starts at least then the term might be “heist film,” but that’s not an adequate summary of the movie as a whole.
Character development is done brilliantly, and every character has their unique role which they fulfill perfectly. No character is wasted, even when the scene isn’t really about them, they get the job done.
This probably doesn’t qualify as a SPOILER, but I’ll say the ALERT anyway. There’s a scene where this guy is telling his son the story of how he and his mother met, and it ends with, “And a year later, you popped out.” I burst out laughing. More stories should end with that line.
When the violence eventually shows up it shows up in full force. There are a few scenes with some pretty graphic alterations being made to the human body. They are brief, but shocking.
There is the occasional strong language from characters in general, and then there is the occasional string of obscenities done by this one character in particular, just to show how much of an annoying turd he is. As a writing tactic I found this to be unique and effective in directing the audience’s impression of him.
There is one scene with boobage. There are no sexual activities occuring, the boobs are just there. It’s the dressing room at a strip-joint, so it at least fits the atmosphere.
On a Personal Note:
There’s so much about this movie that I appreciate as a writer. When people have asked me about the writing process I’ve often said that ideas start in my head as a specific thought, idea, emotion, and then a story gets built around that. I know exactly what I want the reader to think or feel about this particular character or scene, and then every decision I make about it is with that particular emotion in mind. Every time I think “Is this the right thing to do with this character” I ask myself “Will it help or hurt the particular feeling that I want people to have when they think of this character?” And then I know.
This sounds basic enough, but some writers are much better at this than others. Many tend to compromise the overall feel of their characters or scenes by including things that sound like a good idea on their own but don’t actually work with that character or scene. The writing/directing team on Drive knew exactly what emotion they wanted the audience to feel in every second of every scene, and then made the film exactly as needed in order to create the desired emotion – no compromise. Even the awkward pauses where nothing seems to be happening serve a specific intention. It felt like a conversation was happening between me and the film makers. Very inspiring.