Drive My Car
I decided I need to start putting down my impressions about movies I have recently seen, as otherwise, they just vanish into non-existence.
I absolutely love what they call Japanglish, especially wasei eigo – English purely made in Japan, when they take English words and sentences, and transliterate them so that they sound Japanese.
So, the title of the movie (which is also the title of the short story by Murakami, which the movie is loosely based on) is already a big sell for me.
Murakami, one of Ksenia’s favorite writers, is also one of my favorite writers. He manages to create this very special world, where when you read his books, only thing you want to do is cuddle under your sheets, and get absorbed by the writing.
The movie tells the story of Yusuke, an actor and director, whose wife Oto is a successful TV producer and screen writer. Their relationship is filled with love. But one day he comes back home to find her making love to Koji, one of the actors she employs for her latest project. They never find out he saw them, and he withdraws without making a sound.
A few days later Oto suddenly dies, and we’re brought a few months forward, when Yusuke is hired to direct “Uncle Vanya” in a theater in Hiroshima.
He gets assigned a driver by the theater to drive his cool red Saab 900, Misaki, a young quiet girl who turns out to be a very good driver. They start to learn more and more about each other. Yusuke hires quite a diverse cast for his play - one of actors being Koji, who as turns out, lost his job due to being in a sex scandal entering a relationship with a minor.
The rest would be too much of a spoiler to disclose, but the slow and smooth running of the movie very much resembles Murakami’s style of writing – any event, no matter how disturbing it is just flows into it, and we as spectators are just looking at those things from the side, while also feeling so many things about what happens.
The rhythm of the movie makes 3 hours fly by, as if you’re in the train watching the landscape from the window. All the events in lives of Yusuke and Koji and Misaki I related to and was touched with but also with this very soft and feathery touch, which is so characteristic of Murakami, where you stay puzzled and think more about the book after reading it. It was the same with the movie – leaving me thinking about it for days, recollecting strongest visuals from it – red Saab, clothes of characters, scenes of “Uncle Vanya”, winter Hokkaido.
A strong “Go see it!”