Saturday, 14 July 2012

Lone Masked Spartan of the Night: Driver Film Review.




I recently watched a video on YouTube in which a Rabbi (going by the name Chaim Moshe) reviewed the film 'Drive' starring Ryan Gosling and declared it to be violently 'anti-semitic'. Boring! However, I wanted to know what this film was all about, as I keep hearing about how good it is. So I asked my good friend James Steal, the uploader of this Rabbi video, to link me to the film. In short order he duly sent me a link to the film, which I appreciated greatly. James Steal is a mysterious fellow and a little antisocial, but I do like him.

I watched this film and the protagonist, 'The Driver' played by Ryan Gosling, is a mysterious character with a gift for driving and who uses his skills to work as a getaway driver and as a film stuntman. As I say, The Driver is mysterious, almost Spartan I would say. One who is reluctant to speak unless he has something worth saying. 

The character gets involved with a young mother, Irene, who is living at his apartment building. Needlessly, the makers of this film have ensured that his love interest is a pretty White woman who has a son who is of mixed-race. She is also married to some criminal Mestizo creature who is behind bars and awaiting release. Why? Why did these bastards need to do this? A slap in the face for White men is all that I can think. 

Anyway, The Driver's employer, Shannon, is involved with the 'mob' and even has the scars to prove it, as he limps from place to place because one particularly nasty piece of work, a Jewish mobster Nino, had his pelvis broken because he wasn't happy with the way he did business. Shannon has a business proposition for Nino's partner, Bernie Rose. He has a plan to put together a top of the range stock car and, as the star of the show, The Driver would do their stunts for them. Mr Rose is initially sceptical, but once he sees The Driver in action, he agrees to invest in the project. 

Back at the apartment, Irene discovers that her Mestizo husband is due for release. She doesn't appear best pleased, as she seems to have bonded quite a bit with the protagonist. Eventually The Driver and her Mestizo husband are introduced to one another and, though at first they appear frosty, they soon begin to make friends. 

A couple of days later, this Mestizo gets himself severely beaten up in front of his son by his former mobster friends because he owes them protection money and apparently refuses to go back to a life of crime. Things look bleak (at least for the mongrel - I wasn't all that unhappy) as his former associates begin to threaten his family if he does not pay up. 

However, our hero The Driver has a solution to the problem. He informs the Mestizo that he is a professional getaway driver and volunteers to help him do 'one last job' for his former associates and that would be the end of it. The Mestizo and his family would be left alone.

The Mestizo introduces The Driver to an Albanian gangster by the name of Cook, who initially seems impressed by The Driver, though sees him as a bit of a handful. They make an arrangement whereby the Mestizo and a female acquaintance (or 'moll') of the Albanian go and rob a pawn shop, with The Driver as the getaway driver, on the condition that this would be the last job and once completed, the Mestizo and his family would be left alone. 

The scene cuts to the pawn shop heist and, as usual, The Driver sticks to his rule of waiting only 5-minutes for the robbers to get in and out of the place. The pair enter the building and The Driver waits for them, keeping an eye on his watch and observing all around to ensure he is completely safe. 

Out of the blue, a mysterious and rather flash looking car with blacked out windows pulls over a couple of metres away. The Driver is instantly alarmed, but waits to see what happens. Out of the pawn shop hurriedly comes the 'moll' with a large holdall full of cash. The scene becomes very tense as they wait for the Mestizo to follow suit. A moment later the Mestizo exits the building and he appears to be home and dry when we suddenly hear gunshots. The Mestizo clasps the side of his face or neck with hand and tries to make it to the car. But a split second later, he is shot dead. 

The Driver is clearly stunned and makes a frantic getaway. But he finds himself being pursued by the flash car mentioned earlier. The driver following him appears to be gifted at the wheel also and very nearly runs them off the road. But The Driver manages to elude the pursuing car by pulling off a couple of impressive stunts. 

The moll and The Driver flee to a motel and he tries to figure out what on earth has just happened. He finds that there is far money cash on the holdall than he had expected. Clearly this was a setup. Angered and confused, he threatens to beat the filthy moll senseless if she doesn't tell him what has just happened. It appears that the moll and the Albanian had planned to double-cross The Driver and the Mestizo and keep the money for themselves. That's odd because I thought that the aforementioned had agreed to do the heist without payment in the first place. Very odd. 

Anyway, The Driver leaves the room and the moll betrays him once again by calling up the Albanians men and giving away their location. She would come to regret that phone call, as shortly afterwards the gangsters barge into the motel room with high-powered rifles and shoot her brains out. The Driver, ever anticipating danger as though having a sixth sense, realises that they are about to be ambushed. He disarms one of the gunmen, beats him to death and then kills the other intruder. With his face splattered with blood, this Driver fellow is clearly not one to be messed with. He means business and, with cash holdall in hand, sets about to find those responsible for this carnage, starting with the Albanian scum bag. 

In quick succession, he finds the Albanian and beats him with a hammer until he finds out who the money belongs to. It turns out that the money belongs to Nino, the obnoxious Jewish mobster that crippled his friend Shannon. He agrees to send the money in full back to this nasty piece of work, but Nino has already determined that he must do away with The Driver by sending one of his fellow 'chosen' (or at least 'chosen' looking) henchmen over to his apartment. We would later discover that Nino had plotted to steal the money from 'the East Coast mob' and in order not to have these people come after him, he must 'dispose' of anyone with knowledge of his involvement. However, this is The Driver he was up against. 

The henchman arrives at The Driver's apartment and the two meet in the lift. But the ever observant Driver spots that the mobster is carrying a gun, realises what he is and beats him to death by stomping his precious 'chosen' head into the floor. 

Nino is not a happy bunny. He briefs his partner, Bernie Rose, on the whole incident and reasons that he did what he did because of 'anti-semitic' abuse that he had been subjected to by the Mafia. 'They call me a Kike... right to my fucking face!' Bernie in turn is furious. He has a lot of money invested in this Driver fellow. But fearing that word could get back to the Mafia, they both agree that they must kill off anyone with knowledge of this whole affair. Bernie Rose, who looks and in fact *is* (in real life) every bit as 'chosen' as the Nino character, starts the killing by murdering the Albanian with a fork in the most gruesome fashion. Next up he confronts Shannon, who unwittingly gets himself involved in this whole debacle by asking Rose to help deal with the situation The Driver had found himself in. At first Rose appears sympathetic towards Shannon, but then reluctantly kills him by slashing his arm with a flash looking straight razor. 

The Driver later finds his mechanic boss in a pool of blood and resolves to take action against these mob people. He heads over to one of the studios where he earlier did stunt work and picks up a silicone mask that he had used during a death defying driving scene. Wearing his silicone disguise, he then locates Nino at his pizzeria, waits for him to leave, pursues him in his chauffeur driven car and eventually T-Bones him off the road and onto a beach. Nino manages to survive the crash and, injured and perhaps disorientated, makes his way towards the sea. Appearing in the moonlight like a Lone Spartan in the night, the masked Driver makes his way over to Nino and drowns him in the ocean. He then calls up Bernie Rose on Nino's mobile phone and agree to meet the mobster at a restaurant where he would hand over the money from the heist. 

In another scene, The Driver offers to take Irene and her son away with him, to a safe place out of the reach of her husbands former associates, but she refuses. So now, purely out of love for her, he aims to ensure her safety. 

He and Bernie meet at the restaurant and the mobster promises that neither he nor his associates would go near Irene or her son, just as long as he hands the money over. Outside in the car park, The Driver is just about to hand over the cash when Bernie thrusts a knife into his gut. However, he doesn't anticipate The Driver being armed and he in turn is fatally wounded. For a moment we are left thinking that The Driver is dead, but in fact he is enduring the pain from his wound in his usual stoic manner. He then drives off into the night, leaving behind Bernie Rose's corpse and the holdall of cash. 

Why he left the cash with the body I will never know. The holdall would most likely end up in the hands of the Police. Or passers by, seeing the wads of notes sprawled on the floor, would gather up the money in no time. But in the unlikely event that the mobster's associates did get hold of the cash and were aware of the people that The Driver was trying to protect, I doubt they would be inclined to keep their word (or their bosses promise as it were - which they probably were not even aware of in any case). I find it unlikely that The Driver would have any moral objection to taking the money, as he is a criminal himself. Well, whatever the case, The Driver rides off into the night without the cash and the film closes with the same catchy and ethereal music that we heard throughout the film. 

Many viewers of Drive (particularly White Loyalists) have been impressed by the leading character in this film. No doubt viewing The Driver as an Aryan Assassin who deals with the despicable 'chosen' in fitting style. For the same reason, this is why certain Rabbi's are up in arms claiming that the film is hateful, anti-semitic and encourages violence against the 'oh so chosen'. I don't see it myself. As with most of these Hollywood films, the cast, producers and others involved in the film were disproportionately 'chosen'. According to Wikipedia, Nino was initially not the sinister character that he would become. It was only when the 'chosen' actor Ron Perlman showed an interest in portraying an Italian gangster 'wannabe' did the character develop. To quote Director Winding Refn: 

'The character of Nino was originally not particularly interesting, so I asked Ron why he wanted to be in my movie when he's done so many great films. When Ron said, "I always wanted to play a Jewish man who wants to be an Italian gangster", and I asked why, and he said, "because that's what I am -- a Jewish boy from New York", well, that automatically cemented it for me.'

This sounds to me like a director pandering to a 'chose's' desires, rather than deliberately setting out to be 'anti-semitic'. The Rabbi's criticism is unfounded. The question I would ask is, who was this director trying to impress upon by needlessly putting racially mixed relationships into the story? That ruined much of this film for me.

James Mac.