Drive My Car is a beautiful, picturesque film

Drive My Car is a beautiful, picturesque film


3 min read April 26, 2022

Warning: This post has screen captures that may spoil the movie-watching experience. I have tried my best to avoid capturing scenes that reveal the story. Regardless, if you plan to watch the film, watch it first before reading this post.


My introduction to Haruki Murakami

I had heard the name Haruki Murakami for my entire adult life. But, it was only ten years ago that I first gave his work a chance. I picked up 1Q84 and was hooked. I shortly read Norwegian Wood, Kafka on the Shore, and his memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

My wife’s obsession with film

By the time I read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, I had burned out and stopped the book halfway. I had read too much Murakami too soon. The themes and atmosphere, the original factors that attracted me to his books, felt repetitive. So, I put down Murakami for the time being and promised myself I’d try again years later.

While an avid reader, my wife is even more an avid movie watcher. She has seen nearly two thousand, which she maintains reviews of in an extensive spreadsheet. So, she obviously has great recommendations for what we should watch next.

Drive My Car

As part of her movie obsession, she keeps up with the major cinema awards worldwide. Drive My Car went on a tear in the western film award circuit this year and piqued her attention. She told me that we had to watch it.

I knew nothing going in. I didn’t even know it is based on a Murakami short story of the same name. I simply watched.

The film is a well-paced drama without sudden highs or lows. It revolves around a handful of characters and a red Saab 900 Turbo. The car serves not just as a setting and symbol in the film but as a character itself.

In the end, this film moved me. I absolutely love it. The story, character development, acting — every single aspect of the film — was spot on. What impressed me the most, though, was the cinematography. Some shots seemed challenging to execute, but none were gimmicky. Every frame could have been a painting [1]. At times, I even paused the film to admire the lighting and composition.

Favorite frames

As a tribute to this picturesque film, I’ve collected a selection of my favorite frames.

drive my car 01

drive my car 02

drive my car 03

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  1. Every Frame a Painting is my favorite YouTube documentary series about film. ↩︎

Thanks to Q for reading drafts of this.

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