In this section of our Colossus Movie Guide for Drive, we look at the key shots that help us understand the film.
- Ryan Gosling – The Driver
- Carey Mulligan – Irene Gabriel
- Bryan Cranston – Shannon
- Albert Brooks – Bernie Rose
- Oscar Isaac – Standard Gabriel
- Christina Hendricks – Blanche
- Ron Perlman – Nino ‘Izzy’ Paolozzi
- Kaden Leos – Benicio Gabriel
- James Biberi – Chris Cook
- Jeff Wolfe – Assassin In The Tan Suit
- Russ Tamblyn – Doc
- Andy San Dimas – Dancer
- Hossein Amini – Writer
- Nicolas Winding Refn – Director
Key shots of Drive
The elevator kiss
The tender and passionate kiss between The Driver and Irene in the elevator is a pivotal shot in the film. It represents their unspoken connection and encapsulates the brief, fragile moment of happiness they share. The slow-motion cinematography and the soft lighting create a dream-like quality, emphasizing the fleeting nature of their relationship. The subsequent shift in tone as The Driver brutally kills the hitman serves to remind the audience of the violent world he inhabits, further highlighting the tragedy of their doomed romance.
The Driver carrying Benicio
A poignant shot in Drive is The Driver carrying Benicio down the hallway after an idyllic drive around Los Angeles. Notice how the shot of the drive fades into the interior shot, lending power to the image and insight into The Driver’s desire to merge his professional life with a family life—yet, at the same time, it highlights the tension that those two worlds could never coexist. This simple yet powerful image speaks volumes about The Driver’s desire to be a protective, nurturing figure for Benicio. It highlights the gentler side of his character and emphasizes his longing for genuine human connection. The shot also underlines the film’s exploration of the complexities of human nature, illustrating that even someone with a violent past can have a capacity for love and empathy.
The Driver wearing the mask
A haunting shot in the movie is The Driver donning a mask during his confrontation with Nino. This shot represents the duality of his character, illustrating the stark contrast between his gentle, caring side and his brutal, violent nature. The unsettling image of The Driver in the mask serves as a visual representation of his hidden identity and the dark side that he cannot escape, even as he strives for connection and redemption.
The Driver comforting Benicio
The scene in which The Driver kneels to comfort Benicio after discovering his injured father illustrates the compassionate and protective side of his character, while simultaneously highlighting the harsh realities of the world they inhabit. His tenderness towards Benicio contrasts with his otherwise reserved demeanor, revealing a deeply caring individual beneath his stoic exterior. This shot underscores the bond between The Driver and Benicio, a connection that transcends words and actions. Even though they inhabit a world marred by violence and crime, their interaction in this scene suggests an oasis of care and concern, a stark contrast to the brutality surrounding them. Moreover, it amplifies the stakes for The Driver, making it clear that his protective instincts extend beyond his feelings for Irene to include her son, further intensifying his resolve to ensure their safety.
The final shot
The closing shot of the film, featuring The Driver driving off into the night with his eyes on the road, holds significant symbolic weight. This shot represents the culmination of his character arc, emphasizing the acceptance of his dual nature and the consequences of his actions. The darkness that surrounds him serves as a metaphor for his isolation, as he sacrifices his chance at happiness with Irene and Benicio to ensure their safety. It also signifies the enigmatic nature of his existence, as he continues to navigate the complex terrain of his life, forever haunted by his past.
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