Movie Review: DRIVE MY CAR (2021): A powerful film about learning to let go of the past

Drive my car review

drive my car (2021) Movie Reviewa movie directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi and featuring Hidetoshi Nishijima, Toko Miura, Reika Kirishima, masaki okada, Perry Dizon, Ahn Hwitae, Sonia Yuan and Satoko Abe.

Director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s powerful drama, drive my car, offers its audience a deep and dramatically gripping story and, through the acting of its star Hidetoshi Nishijima, one of the strongest male performances of the year. This movie is quite long at around three hours but definitely worth the investment. Emotionally speaking, the movies don’t get any more complex than that, and they don’t get much more enjoyable either.


drive my car opens with a husband and wife. Yusuke (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is an actor/theater director and Oto (Reika Kirishima) is a screenwriter. They have suffered a tremendous amount of tragedy in their lives due to the death of their child, but find solace in each other’s company as Oto tells Yusuke about his idea for a story where a young girl becomes fascinated. entering a boy’s room in secret. These opening scenes establish the relationship between Yusuke and the love of his life, Oto, through passionate sex scenes and the sharing of artistic ideas. When Oto dies, the real story of the film begins.

However, before moving forward with this review, I must state the fact that Oto, early on, is caught by Yusuke having an affair. Yusuke comes home early after trying to go on a business trip and sees Oto having hot sex with another man. Yusuke has neither the heart nor the courage to confront Oto and leaves her alone with the other man. A few years have passed since Oto’s aforementioned untimely death and Yusuke is now enlisted to direct a production of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” for a theatrical performance in Hiroshima featuring artists from various backgrounds.

The film’s audition scene is fascinating as we see a group of different types of actors and actresses (one who communicates through sign language, one who speaks English, etc.) get together to try and get a role in the show. One of the actors auditioning is a young man named Takatsuki (Masaki Okada) who also had an affair with Oto a few years ago. Yusuke throws him into the production which will open a Pandora’s box that won’t easily close.

Meanwhile, Yusuke learns that he must accept a driver to transport him back and forth. Another actor had an accident and now it’s strict theater company protocol. This driver is a young woman in her twenties named Misaki (Toko Miura) who is tough and wise beyond her years but will form a bond with Yusuke that will change their lives forever.

drive my car is very unique in the way it tells its story. A lot of time is spent on the exact details of the production that Yusuke directs and puts together. These scenes are rare in films today and provide insight into the creative process while also establishing Yusuke’s obsession with Takatsuki, which helps drive the plot forward.

Ultimately, at the center of the image, however, is the relationship formed by Yusuke and Misaki. These two characters are well matched despite their age difference. Yusuke is at least two decades older, but Misaki has suffered the loss of a parent and despite their differences in lifestyles, they come to depend on each other and learn a lot about each other. at the end of the film. Of course, the movie hinges on the fact that Yusuke never wanted a pilot to begin with and that he gradually has to accept Misaki into his life. Yusuke likes to work on the way home and plays tapes in his car to help him with his craft.

As the film progresses, a lot of things happen. The way all of these characters intersect is surprisingly unique, and the film still probes and maintains audience interest throughout. The fact that the opening credits only appear 40 minutes into the film suggests that the film is actually two stories. They are both Yusuke and Oto’s story and Yusuke and Misaki’s redemption story. Both relationships are also expanded upon, with Takatsuki’s character added for good measure as he too will pay a price that will cost him his happiness.

Nishijima is fantastic in a performance full of heartache and despair. Nishijima captures the essence of his character and makes us feel all his pain throughout the film. As Misaki, Miura is a revelation. As the two main characters travel together to visit Misaki’s mother’s resting place, the film still reminds us of the differences between these two people, but the fact that they discover similarities is inspiring.

Hamaguchi has crafted what is a very human drama that is sure to be nominated for Best International Picture at the Oscars. With snowy scenes near the end creating the chilling atmosphere the characters found themselves immersed in, our main characters also find purpose and meaning in life by the time the end credits roll.

drive my car is a truly original film. It’s a character-driven movie that learns to let go of the past and move forward into the future without fear of what’s to come, because we’re all ultimately on the same path. You will find that this film is worth the three hour investment and emotionally engaging with one final theatrical performance in the film that will make you cry. It’s a terrific movie.

Evaluation: 9/ten

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