Dolev Amitai’s review published on Letterboxd:
After having Only God Forgives leave a sour taste in my mouth, I decided to go back to Refn's first film that I saw, the one that made me love him so much.
To go back to the first pairing of Goslin and Refn.
This is my third watching of Drive, and it had me at the 80's pink credits.
Drive is for me the peak of Refn's skill.
While Bronson is also an amazing film, in Drive Refn pushed his style to the max, and along with a terrific story created such an amazing film.
Drive is a pure example of Refn's style.
The terrific music, the sudden violence. The colors.
The Driver (Gosling) speaks at the beginning of the film, and only after one of the greatest chase scenes which takes about 20 minutes, do he utters another word.
Comparing this to Only God Forgives shows the small line between having the style help the film or suffocate it.
The story and characters in Drive are simply well written and motivated.
Each character has a reason for their actions. We understand their inner motives.
Even Albert Brook's Bernie Rose as a villian has a reason for his actions.
Refn's use of mirrors and camera placement inside the car makes it feel as if we are really in the car.
When suddenly the film shows us what it feels like outside of the car, we truly see what Refn did.
Gosling' character, while not saying much, instead says so much with his face and his eyes.
Refn's use of colors on his face helps show a lot more of his interior emotions.
Drive also introduced me to the lovely Carrey Mulligan, who is my favorite current actress.
And the music.
Drive helped me find Kavinsky, a terrific music artist who I enjoy listening to.
A Real Hero, beautifully composed and used in the film.
And most of all Cliff Martinez's original score.
Beautiful, haunting and fits the film and makes it so much better.
In fact Cliff's scores are always great.
I have nothing but admiration for Drive.
Perfect in every single way.