What's new

Drive My Car (2021)

JoeStemme

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
353
Real Name
Joseph
Title: Drive My Car

Genre: Drama

Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Cast: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Reika Kirishima, Masaki Okada, Park Yurim, Jin Daeyeon, Sonia Yuan, Ahn Hwitae, Perry Dizon, Satoko Abe

Release: 2021-08-18

Runtime: 179

Plot: Yusuke Kafuku, a stage actor and director, still unable, after two years, to cope with the loss of his beloved wife, accepts to direct Uncle Vanja at a theater festival in Hiroshima. There he meets Misaki, an introverted young woman, appointed to drive his car. In between rides, secrets from the past and heartfelt confessions will be unveiled.

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's adaptation of a short-story of the same name by Haruki Murakami is an extraordinary three-hour experience. Hamaguchi and co-writer Takamasa Oe not only expand upon the brief source material, but also dare to take on one of the great works of literature in Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, weaving it into the very fabric of their screenplay.

Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima in a beautifully modulated performance) is a Tokyo Theater Director and Actor who travels to Hiroshima to be in residency at a local theater group putting on a performance of Uncle Vanya. The production is to be multi-lingual including Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog and even a sign language performer playing the role of Sonja (an angelic Yoo-rim Park). A dashing young actor from Kafuku's past, Koji (a suitably arrogant Masaki Okada), appears for the auditions to the Director's surprise.

One of the stipulations of the residency is that Kafuku is to have a driver at all times. She arrives in the form of the quiet and introspective Misaki (Tōko Miura; guilelessly effective). Reluctant at first, Kafuku accepts her. Part of his method is that he likes to take long drives in his car while listening to a specially recorded audiotape of Uncle Vanya. It's during these trips where both the title comes from, but, also provides a basis for their relationship even though few words are exchanged between them.

While some knowledge of Chekhov's play may be helpful, Hamachuchi and Oe provide ample quotations and re-enactments of the crucial portions of the text for the uninitiated. Further, the film is far more than a clever parallel to the play. It takes its time to develop all of the relationships, developments and entanglements. The movie begins with a long prologue from two years prior with Kafuku and his wife Oto (a luminous, mysterious Reika Kirishima) - also a writer. It's over a half an hour before the credits roll, but the prelude's resonances reverberate throughout. The opening scene is scored by Eiko Ishibashi with a foreboding wail which is later echoed in a crucial sequence. The details always matter in Hamaguchi's direction - many of them unspoken.

Like a fine play, the earlier acts create the necessary build-up for the climax and resolution. The structure is like a mystery box, opening its secrets stage by stage. Even the last act is never rushed. Each scene, each nuance, carefully weighed and delivered. It's all brilliantly balanced by Director Hamachuchi and his cast. DRIVE MY CAR is well worth the journey.
 

Jeff Adkins

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 18, 1998
Messages
2,809
Real Name
Jeff Adkins
I found it's opening near me on Friday. Now, I just need to find the time to see it.
 

Nathan_H

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 26, 2001
Messages
251
Just don't start it if you are feeling tired or plan to watch just part and finish another time. It casts a spell. One of those movies that tells you how to experience it, including educating you on its pacing early on, so it can mess with that a little like it has hypnotized you.
 

JoeStemme

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
353
Real Name
Joseph
Just don't start it if you are feeling tired or plan to watch just part and finish another time. It casts a spell. One of those movies that tells you how to experience it, including educating you on its pacing early on, so it can mess with that a little like it has hypnotized you.
Yes, SO glad I saw it in a theater where you can't take breaks or watch it in segments. You have turn off your phone, dim the lights and just watch it in one fell swoop for maximum impact
 

JoeStemme

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
353
Real Name
Joseph
Not to undermine your point about seeing it in a theater but for those that don't have a theater playing it near them or still aren't comfortable going to a movie theater, Drive My Car is coming to HBO Max on Wednesday.
NEVER would not recommend folks see it, but I am echoing the point that you need to give it your full attention. If that means via streaming, so be it.
 

JoeStemme

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
353
Real Name
Joseph
DRIVE MY CAR hits HBO Max today. It's superb, but it does demand one's total attention for its 3 hours. Don't watch it in segments.
So, make sure you have an uninterupped block of time. Dim the lights. Turn off your cellphone. Enjoy one of the year's finest.
 

Attachments

  • hbo drive.jpg
    hbo drive.jpg
    232.6 KB · Views: 7

MartinP.

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
1,507
Real Name
Martin
I did watch it uninterrupted. It took me 3 1/2 hours because I fell asleep.
 

SamT

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
5,338
Real Name
Sam
I'm trying to decipher. Do you mean you fell asleep for exactly 31 minutes?!
 

bujaki

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
Messages
6,117
Location
Richardson, TX
Real Name
Jose Ortiz-Marrero
This is the year's best film, hands down. It will win the international award at the Oscars, but not BP because Hollywood won't repeat the Parasite phenomenon. Consequently, The Power of the Dog should win BP, but CODA might pull a Green Book "feel good" BP award.
 

SamT

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
5,338
Real Name
Sam
I'm planning to see this. My initial plan was to see it with family members but this is too hardcore. I have to go solo.
 
Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

Users who are viewing this thread

Forum Sponsors

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
350,697
Messages
4,927,027
Members
142,888
Latest member
boreli
Recent bookmarks
0
Top