Drive My Car

Drive My Car ★★★★½

The contemplation, rumination and pathos this manages to achieve is truly remarkable.

Yes, it does take its time getting there but the journey is so rich with pockets of delicious revelations, conversations and observations that I can hardly think of much that could be trimmed.

The writing here is exquisite. Each scene is perfectly placed and everything is seen and said for a reason. It all pays off so well. The only other film that was written as tidy and expertly as this last year—in my opinion—is Power of the Dog. Both films have such taught scripts that make use of every exchange, confrontation and moment of silence.

This of course goes hand in hand with excellent direction. We are guided through this reflective journey by the expert hand of Ryusuke Hamaguchi. He tells us just where to look, when and for how long. Never once did I feel lost in a bog or hampered by unnecessary sentiments. Every choice is worth while.

Special shout out to the sound in this film as well. Wow. Not only is the silence deafening and so important to the story, but the cityscapes, car sounds and intimate moments left my skin tingling from the aural sensations. 

Finally, the acting here is just so too notch. Not one performance feels falls and the way they transform before you’re very eyes as the film progresses is truly an act of magic. Hidetoshi Nishijima Is of course the backbone for everyone else. One simply look from him and I was busting with empathy. The depth of his stare is astonishing and pairs so well with Tōko Miura’s guarded, brittle and deceptively touching turn as his drive.

This really is such a fine work of cinema that is slow to reveal itself but as everything g comes into focus it becomes so clear just what the journey was meant to be about. It’s poetry on a screen.

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