Just saw the movie DRIVE, starring Ryan Gosling.
This was the only movie I saw in the last 2 years that got stuck in my mind hours after I walked out of the theater. A little bit of art-house existentialism and a little bit of Hollywood action…the paradoxical mixture makes the film quite surreal. See it, and tell me what you think.
I love the mask scenes. Ryan gosling’s character – having no name, no clear motivations, no past, no future, little dialogue, and the way he put on a faceless mask in critical moments while roaming around the city in the dark, the way he was referred to in the beginning of the movie as a “zombie”, how he got stabbed at the end, yet seemed to be unharmed as he simply drove off into the horizon, how he walked away without the money because he had have no practical purposes or uses for it, and his god-like driving ability to get around and avoid physical obstacles seemed to indicate that he was some sort of non-being who existed in a different metaphysical plane as most mortals. He avoided human contacts unless absolutely necessary (hesitate to shake hands, drives people around but want nothing more to do with them other than “just drive”), yet had the power to exert forces and influence causes and effects if for greater cause.
One of the many themes of the movie is that real “heroes” are nameless and faceless and do not seek after glory and fame, and unlike a lot of of cliche heros in action movies that take up a lot of space and grab a lot of unnecessary attention to get the job done, he quietly “flows” around like a ghost, yet he was extremely effective and lethal. His job as a stunt driver symbolizes this. When we watch movies, the heroic moments were often times the work of nameless stuntmen who take the “hit” for the big-time actors…but they get no credit for their work, yet they are the real heroes who work “behind the scenes”. Their jobs are stunt doubles are deadly, fast, loud, and full of explosions and danger, yet they “quietly”, while hiding behind masks, makeup, wigs, and etc, get the job done discretely, jumping from scene to scene, job to job without leaving traces of who they really are.
Ryan gosling was the stuntman for Irene and her family. He took hits for them, taking the baggage that was going to be on Irene’s shoulder and put it on his back. He never revealed more about himself than what was necessary, and after the family was relieved, he just drove away, leaving nothing physical behind. Sometimes the people who have the most affects on our lives are people like him…you don’t know who they are, where they are from, and where they are going, their physical presence could be minimum…they may appear in your life for only a moment or two, yet their influences, spiritually and mentally, are immense and life-changing.