Ryan Gosling: “Carey and I, our relationship off camera was very similar to our relationship on camera. We really just kind of looked at each other. It just felt good. I just liked looking at her. And I didn’t want to blow it by saying anything. Also, I really wanted to kiss her, so I asked the movie’s director Nick if I could do it in the elevator scene before I smash a guy’s head in.”
“There’s a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don’t need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you’re on your own. Do you understand?”
What Drive does well is embodying mood without words. Mood isn’t a monologue, or an essay, after all. Mood is the way a room looks to us when there’s no one else there. The way the streetlamp looks on a lonely night. A face in certain lights can look hard, uncompromising, and unfamiliar. And in another, tender and in awe.
How can the same person both be monster and hero? Only the shifting light can help us make sense of this absurdity. Day turning into night, and then back into day. For the driver, love is the catalyst for both his kindness and his brutality. The thing about films like this, where people can easily cry that it’s more style than substance–what still attracts us is that there’s a great romance in such intensity. A man who murders for a woman before they’ve even kissed. A movie that acknowledges how true, deep loneliness speaks its own language, recognizes its own wavelength in others. There are just shared glances. Her hand over his.
But for him that is enough to idolize this girl into this object of perfection, obsession. He will never have her. She’s already beyond him, this person that she is to him. But he will keep striving toward his love, this strange light at the end of the tunnel. Drive toward it.