Drive My Car Poster

Drive My Car (2021)

Drama  
Rayting:   7.8/10 15K votes
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese | English
Release date: March 24, 2022

After his wife's unexpected death, Yusuke Kafuku, a renowned stage actor and director, receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya in Hiroshima. There, he begins to face the haunting mysteries his wife left behind.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

valleyjohn 12 January 2022

Every now and then there is a film that gets very little publicity in the main press but causes a stir amongst film goers , generally after it's been played at festivals. Drive My Car is one such movie .

This was Adapted from a short story in Murakami Haruki's "Men Without Women". Its initially about a director's wife , a playwright , and a great storyteller who then dies of a brain aneurism . Her husband is invited to direct a play at a festival in Hiroshima and is told he has to have a driver . He then finds his female chauffeur to be much more than he was expecting . The two become closer and as they eventually talk, secrets and confessions are exchanged.

I can see why people really loved this film. I've heard it described as a true masterpiece and the best film of the decade and while I really liked it , I can't really agree with those sentiments , as there are definitely things wrong with it.

What I really liked about this film is the pace of the dialogue ( outside of the rehearsal scenes ) . The way the characters told their stories , especially the one about the girl who visits a boys house and leaves tokens , was fascinating. I loved the interactions and relationship building .

In fact it's a film about relationships and how these deal with their own personal grief.

The one problem I have with the film is that it's set around a Chekhov play called Uncle Vanya and we sit through the constant auditions . I understand the scenes are their to introduce us to the characters but there is way too much of it and it makes the film feel weighty and baggy at times . Unless you are a Chekhov fan that is !

I watched this in a BFI screening in London and despite how much I enjoyed the movie , I found sitting there for over three hours , really hard work .

This may just be a film that is better suited to home viewing .

I think this is one of those films that will stick in my mind for some time and maybe I will adjust my rating because of that .

Kdosda_Hegen 1 January 2022

Even though the middle section does feel uneventful and there are plenty of scenes that could use some cutting, it is still a great film. The attention to detail is very precise. There are so many little moments or sentences that do have a reference or a consequence much much later on and I'm very happy that it doesn't have any kinds of flashbacks or anything that Hollywood movies would do. The whole film is full of seemingly unimportant stuff happening which unexpectedly leads to something bigger. It does for sure take its time but does feel like a very clever and genuine film.

andrewchristianjr 14 January 2022

Drive My Car is an excellent story about grief, self-acceptance and the struggles of letting go. Its performed outstanding across the board, packed with a beautiful score and enough room to breathe.

kluseba 22 February 2022

Drive My Car, nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best International Feature Film, and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 94th Academy Awards, is a critically acclaimed Japanese melodrama. The story revolves around four key characters. Protagonist Kafuku Yusuke is a renowned actor and theater director with a calm and quiet demeanor who is shocked to discover that his wife has a sexual relationship with a much younger man. His wife Oto is a creative and expressive mind who conceives ideas for her screenwriting while and after having sex. Young actor Takatsuki Koji seems to have a self-confident swagger but starts questioning his whole existence after a relationship with a minor destroys his career and leads to excessive media coverage. Watari Misaki is a young woman who suffered mental and physical abuse from her unstable mother in Hokkaido and started a new life as driver in Hiroshima. This movie explores the relationships between some of these characters and deals with overcoming challenges in general and processing loss in particular.

This movie convinces on several levels. First and foremost, the aforementioned characters are authentic, detailed and profound. Viewers will discover more about them with every single scene and care about their fates. Especially their flaws make it easy to empathize or even sympathize with them.

The acting performances are also very convincing. Especially the actresses truly deliver the goods. Kirishima Reika shines in the opening of the movie as free-spirited, imaginative and mysterious screenwriter. The very best performance might however come from Miura Toko as skilled driver in an identity crisis who doesn't speak much thoughout the film but transmits many emotions through precise body language in general and subtle facial expressions in particular.

Drive My Car is filled with many artistic, intellectual and philosophical references. This goes along with the artistic, creative and expressive characters. Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot is particularly referenced in the beginning while Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya receives much attention through the movie's middle section and ending. It also is no coincidence that the movie's setting shifts from downtown Tokyo to Hiroshima and its rural surroundings. Attentive viewers will also realize that the closing scene takes place in South Korea. These numerous subtle elements are complemented by an elegant soundtrack featuring classical music and the use of a red Sab 900 that represents individualism and nostalgia in a time of colletivism and change. This movie offers much to discover for an intellectual audience and is worth being viewed on several occasions to discover new facets.

The film is however not without its flaws. The running time of three hours includes a few minor lengths here and there. Especially the introduction that takes more than forty minutes before the opening credits appear could have been shortened a little bit. Some of the theater play practises and sequences also overstay their welcome and can at times be somewhat pretentious with passages featuring numerous foreign languages from Korean sign language to Taiwanese Mandarin.

At the end of the day, Drive My Car is a melodrama with emotional depth and intellectual details. This timeless film should please anyone looking for profound dramas built upon authentic characters. Patient viewers will be rewarded with a story that resonates long after the movie has ended.

SAMTHEBESTEST 12 January 2022

Doraibu Mai Ka / Drive My Car (2021) : Brief Review -

Forcefully tranquilized, vulgarized and intellectualized tale of unknown regret which leads to sickness of interring infidelity. An extramarital affair or sexual relationship is one such thing i believe has no explanation, unless it is done after a forced relationship. For instance, it's okay and quite plausible if a woman who is forcefully married or is unhappy with her husband, has an extramarital affair or a sexual relationship with someone else. But how would you explain her infidelity when you know that she isn't forced into a marriage, nor that she's unhappy with her husband? Drive My Car drove me crazy over this senseless thought. A theatre actor sees his wife having sex with her lover (unknown) but never stops loving her, nor questions her. What a great love that was! How can you be such a sucker man. The wife dies (predictably because of shame) and then the actor blames himself for that? Holy mess. How's that? The man who was faithful to her literally blames himself for her death just because he never questioned her about the unfaithfulness. Was it a sex-show or x** series? I felt so. I mean even those "Zz" or "NA" stories make more sense than it. I was literally laughing when he finally opens up about his wife's sexual affairs to one of her friend and then says, 'I never stopped loving her". I told you, those NA stories are more sensible. At least they end up showing a cuckold throwing the dame out. Anyways, this entire cover up of infidelity with funny theories of regret and redemption are out of my brain. I know we live in a modern era but not that modern where you are cool sharing your wife with someone and then blame yourself for her infidelity. Sorry critics, you might be dumb enough to like that (even in real life), not me. Overall, nothing recommendable from my side but watch it to be your own judge. Who knows it might happen with you someday (A big LOL), so better be prepared.

RATING - 5/10*

By - #samthebestest.

jack_o_hasanov_imdb 13 February 2022

3 hours... It doesn't matter to me the length of the movie or what genre it is.

I watched all kinds of movies. This film was like Nuri Bilge Ceylan or Andrie Tarkovicky film. This movie was very boring for me from time to time. I also never understood the motivation of the main character. I think it's an exaggeration to feel so guilty for someone who has cheated on themselves so many times. I think it's a good movie. Unnecessarily long. Nice cinematography, sometimes good, sometimes boring dialogues. Sometimes you don't like a movie, but you admit it's a good movie. This movie is like one of those movies for me. I agree that the movie is good. But I never understood the motivation of the main character and found it overrated. Also, the idea of a multi-lingual theater seemed silly to me :) Why should I watch a theater in a language I don't know? I think it's ridiculous :) Anyway, it's a good movie, but it's overrated.

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