Netflix’s ‘Drive’ Will Surely Give You a Headache
In one of the scenes early on in Drive, Jacqueline Fernandez struts into the frame and her sidekick tells her, “I don’t know what is sexier, you or your driving.” If you’re wondering why she finds Jacqueline’s driving ‘sexy’, it is because she’s a street racer, and also a thief.
The ridiculousness of the writing in that scene and the way it’s performed sets the tone for Drive. The premise is fairly basic. The corrupt head of the Monetary Restrictions Authority (Vibha Chhiber) takes a cut from rich officials and stashes the black money at the Rashtrapati Bhavan (just, wow). A bunch of thieves who are ‘experts at stealing’, decide to make this their next target. Tara, played by Jacqueline Fernandez, and her two friends Bikki and Naina (Vikramjeet Virk and Sapna Pabbi) are part of a gang of street racers, and one day in walks Sushant Singh Rajput. I still haven’t understood why?! Am I just daft? Or is the film really that ridiculous, I leave that to you to decide.
There really isn’t any point in dissecting a film that is essentially about robbing the Rashtrapati Bhavan! One doesn’t expect great craft or realistic performances from a film like this, but Drive isn’t even one of those films that is so bad that it’s good. It’s just boring.
Dharma Productions and the audiences can heave a sigh of relief that this headache of a film didn’t reach the theatres and was dumped on poor Netflix. From what I can recollect, Drive is about Jacqueline and Sushant’s different postures. I can imagine the director(he’s made Dostana before this) yelling on the set, ‘Be fake! Be fake!’ And that the actors excel at, it’s just that the gloss is not enough. It’s not like an Abbas Mustan film, that is trying to be clever but is fun.
Even a talented actor like Pankaj Tripathi, who plays the aide of the corrupt head, looks lost and baffled. I’m sure the extras in every frame felt the same, because they look plain disinterested. The funniest bit for me was when a bunch of rats are thrown into the Rashtrapati Bhavan and Sushant, Jacqueline and the gang enter as people from a pest control agency. Were they trying to attempt an Italian Job kind of heist, because the end result is more like what I saw in my childhood on Cartoon Network? There are also some car chasing sequences, again amateurishly done- for a film that’s called Drive.
The poor script and execution of Drive is another damp squib for Netflix as far as its Indian content is concerned. It’s now known that Dharma had delayed the release of the film several times, and post their deal with Netflix it found a new exhibitor. But it’s a blow to Netflix’s image to have a film as lousy as this. Give us something like Bird Box or maybe better?
Like I mentioned earlier, Jacqueline is merely expected to pose in different ways, sometimes look angry which also doesn’t come through. Sushant tries to be earnest but this film just doesn’t have any room for an actor like him. Drive felt like it went on forever, even with a run time below two hours. There are a few songs though that we can hum on the go for a week...thank God for small mercies.
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