Let’s take a second and ignore the fact that the opening credits for Drivedirected by Nicolas Winding Refn and staring Ryan Gosling, say “based off the book by James Sallis“. Ignore the characters with the same names (though drastically different personalities and roles), ignore the altered plot points and the chronological versus scattered story-telling.

I read Drive Sunday night, and I watched Drive Wednesday. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t be sitting here saying one was an adaptation of another.

This post isn’t a “the book was awful, the movie is totally better” rant (mostly because my professor has barred us from using such phrases), but also because so many elements were different that I cannot fully say they were the same story.

The book is mostly voided of dialogue, like the movie, however, there reader gets each and every single thought that goes through Driver’s (main character) head. You know his opinions, his feelings, how he tries to figure out the double-crossing, literally everything.

In contrast, the movie has several long periods of pure silence. We never know what Driver is thinking and somehow, that made me like the character more. In the book, Driver’s mannerisms make his character appear stoic, closed off… the silent type. But I struggled to see that because the entire book was Driver’s inner monologue… I didn’t have that same issue in the movie.

Did both media capture the drama between thieves that follow the honor code and those who don’t? yes. Did the movie provide more tension with that drama though? of course. Which is why the movie garnered more respect than the book.

Also there was a lot of blood. A lot.

Overall: 7/10

Final thoughts:

  • Ryan Gosling is such a good character actor.
  • I loved the score. About half of the film is Driver silently doing actions with music playing and I thought it fit the tone of the film beautifully.
  • Carey Mulligan is British. Did I blow your mind? I mean, I already knew because I loved her in “Never Let Me Go”, but you could never tell with her American accent.

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