Drive My Car

Drive My Car ★★★★½

Expectations were high after all the pregame hype on this one. But, damn, if Drive My Car doesn’t deliver. It’s messy, a little overlong, but still one of the better recent films out there. The more it marinates, the better it gets. 

Drive My Car’s Haruki Murakami source material was cause for concern. Other than The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, the other 4-5 books I’ve read suffer from familiar male loner protagonists, wooden female characters, and cringeworthy erotic motifs. The lesser moments of Drive My Car are, unsurprisingly, the ones that hew too close to these Murakamisms. 

But as in Lee Chang-dong’s 2018 film Burning, Drive My Car expands Murakami’s usual myopia into more probing, more human places. It’s tragic, exuberant, and, if anything, a huge boost for the continued durability of Chekhov plays. (Never mind I miss the 1980s-90s-era Saab 900 so much…)

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