There’s something about Ryan Gosling. Some would say it’s the abs. Others would argue it’s his jaw line, which may or may not have been hand-crafted by the Greek god Zeus.
Of course he’s a handsome dude. But you know what? Ryan Gosling is a damn fine actor, too.
This revelation came to me while watching the 2011 thriller "Drive." Gosling plays a soft-spoken guy who is both a mechanic and Hollywood stuntman by day and a getaway driver by night. Despite the intense nature of his line of work, the driver’s personal life is rather subdued.
This is mostly due to how quiet the character is. Gosling hardly speaks – and it’s not just because of the toothpick he constantly carries around in his mouth. The character’s silence is no more evident than in the scenes he shares with his neighbor and love interest, played by Carey Mulligan. In the early going of “Drive,” a number of the scenes seem to simply consist of the two characters sitting around, wordlessly staring at each other. On the surface, it seems like boring acting. However, you soon learn to appreciate the subtleties of Gosling’s character.
Any ol’ actor can buffoon about, playing a role over-the-top with large show of emotion. It takes a certain skill to be able to say more with a half smirk than with a full paragraph of dialogue. To say the character is the strong, silent type is an understatement.
Despite the mundane movie I’ve just described, "Drive" really isn’t that boring. Halfway through, you start to wonder if you’re watching the same film. The seemingly innocent Gosling gets tangled up in a heist-gone-wrong, and he is suddenly forced to take drastic measures to protect the people he loves.
Those drastic measures include some truly brutal acts of violence. All the pent up emotions he seemed to be suppressing come pouring out in the excessive ways he takes out his enemies – the most gruesome of which is a scene that involves Gosling stomping a skull in an elevator. It’s definitely not your typical Ryan Gosling. The film is cold, calculated and highly stylized.
While certain parts of "Drive" are downright hard to watch, it is a beautifully made movie that at times evokes a sort of complex painting. Thoughtful cinematography and a perfectly scored soundtrack help make the film feel like a piece of art. It’s style on style on style. These elements make the grisly violence we see somehow less harsh.
If you seek a more lighthearted Ryan Gosling, I would direct you to one of his comedic efforts, like "Crazy, Stupid, Love." Or even the goofy song-and-dance cornerback he plays in "Remember the Titans."
One thing’s for sure: this isn’t "The Notebook." "Drive" is a rough story depicted in a realistic way. It is both eerie and inspiring. Ryan Gosling might play an outright badass in the movie. But rest assured – a hunk he remains.blog comments powered by Disqus