I finished Drive a several minutes ago, and I have mixed feelings about it. Well, not really. I hated the ending. It seemed to make the whole film pointless to me. I don't need a happy ending to my films, to be sure, but I like an ending where someone at least get something. And nobody got a damn thing in this film. Girl didn't get the guy, guy didn't get the money, kid doesn't get his dad.
In terms of production and storytelling, Drive really is top-notch. What a fantastic mood Refn created, backing it with a retro eighties-style soundtrack. I really liked the way music and silence was used in the film. It created a tense atmosphere, alternating between suspense and melancholy, using similar music for each. Very effective.
I also get why there are so many Ryan Gosling blogs now. I want to start one. I know, of course, that the best kind of men are the ones who communicate, and emote, and ask questions. But what man doesn't want that total calm control over himself and his circumstances--to be both the gentle protector and lover and the untouchable warrior? Even if I know that it's about cultural messages and societal projection of its insecurities on both men and women, I still feel drawn to that male archetype, and if I'm honest, I like feeling drawn to it. Gosling embodies that so perfectly here.
But remember what I said. I hated the ending. Completely and utterly pointless. I suppose that's a part of this guy's story, so my intellect is saying that it was appropriate and poetic (he's driving at both the beginning and end of the film) and consistent with the character, but my emotion is saying that it sucked and might have even ruined the whole movie for me.
No, not completely. But it really put a damper on it.
I tend to like genre films (except romcoms--it really depends on the picture), and this was compelling because of how it (like everyone says) balances elements of an art film with an action film very well. There were even elements of horror! I couldn't help but think of Friday the XIII during the ocean scene. It was chilling. Gosling's character really was a killer. The girl's probably better off without him. Though, I'd have a tough time getting over the whole "crush a guy's skull in the elevator" incident, if I were her.
Now let me go read what you all wrote about it many moons ago and see if I have anything else to say.
Oh, and thanks to Ben, I couldn't stop paying attention to that damn jacket!