Director: Nicholas Winding Refn
Venue: The Lexi Cinema, London
Running time: 95 minutes.
Preview Screening of this Cannes winner.
A tone sets the tone. A heartbeat sets the beat.
A lone man.
Whether the pulse is that of the man’s or the music, it’s definitely a pulsating soundtrack which gets us. [So much so that when it stopped I was begging for it to start again – Mini Mini loves music & lyrics in film, as long as it’s done well]
We also have 80’s style titles on display. These titles, along with the electro-retro music make us – or me at least – go “Oh, it’s a retro movie”… Or is it? Read on…
The music, titles and night-time give an eery but intriguing feel to the picture.
After a tense scene where we are shown what this lone guy does for a living, the film proceeds to confuse us by showing our main character seemingly at work, in a more respected field of vocation.
So, to the retro. The music, titles, haircuts & clothing all convinced me that this was an 80’s film, if the cars on display didn’t. I thought “Wow, this film could never have got made back in that era with the style this motion picture has.” Oh, how film-making has progressed in around 30 years.
My ‘eighties-feel’ suspicion was only confirmed one way or the other by something said by Albert Brooks and his character. A perfect man of the eighties. Is he just sleazy, genuine or a mafia member?
There is a love interest of sorts but in no way over-played or mushy. No. Pretty much it’s played down, while retaining a certain sweetness.
Our main character is one of a few words, even if others aren’t. We’re intrigued by all players. Do they have motives? If so, what are they?
Even when words are spoken there are long pauses between characters, but this only keeps us interested. You almost hang on their every word. That is not to say that I didn’t at first think it a little self-indulgent in it’s film-making style, or even arty. But put self-indulgent & arty together & you get brilliance.
The film later surprises us with some ‘look-away’ violence & splatterings of gore, literally. There was even a little laughter in this picture-house, but not due to any silliness on film, instead a sign of it’s excellence in extremeness. You can’t have characters resembling mafioso and not have a little over-the-top or cringe-worthy violence.
We, the audience were perhaps using those chuckles as relief. It is a tense movie after all.
Certain aspects of American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman or perhaps more like his ‘brother’ in Rules Of Attraction seemed evident in Ryan’s acting. I’m interested to learn what the book (from which this is based) describes as his character.
I felt that the picture also had elements of the Wachowski Brothers’ “Bound”.
Nonetheless this is a unique film, if only for it’s tone. The story is pretty simple yet surprising and likeable in many, many parts. It’s pace and colours & lighting are also to be soaked up by anyone who witnesses this Cannes-winning future classic.
Stop looking at the posters and just the exteriors, take a look under it’s hood and at all it’s components & mechanics.
AND. . .
Whether a driver of a Mini or a Lexus, combine the two words and you get the Lexi. So…
A Mini Mini Moving story of the Lexi… from their own words:
The Lexi Cinema – The UK’s First Social Enterprise Boutique Cinema
“100% of The Lexi’s profits go towards improving the quality of life for the people of Lynedoch Village in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Every ticket, every membership you buy, every bowl of popcorn, every glass of wine and every event you hold at The Lexi goes towards making a real difference to the lives of the families at Lynedoch.”
http://thelexicinema.co.uk/ http://www.Twitter.com/TheLexiCinema http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lexi-Cinema/125411586258
And… Not forgetting…:
Mini Mini Movie (i.e. Trailer)
“Mini Mini Driver”:
I feel a little bit guilty saying that Drive needed more driving. When the action comes it is tense and artfully done without shying away from the extreme violence, but that all starts to go away as soon as the characters start talking, or sighing and looking at each other. Nice review. Check out mine when you get a chance.
Thanks for the kind words. I agree in places… I’ll try to look at a couple of yours. Thanks again. Best… J