Drive My Car
Ryusuke Hamaguchi is slowly becoming one of my favorite directors examining relationships and communication; this year, he had a triple hit with Drive My Car, Wife of a Spy, and Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy. Drive My Car was my favorite, as Hamaguchi understands the weight of the themes he’s addressing and directs accordingly. Following stage actor/director Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) after the death of his philandering wife, Hamaguchi breaks down Kafuku’s grief and reflection as he tries to process her death through his art. Kafuku is just an incredibly compelling character to watch, as you see how he developed his method of communicating with people, which both helped him and hurt his relationships. It’s an artist’s movie, as I suspect many artists that forge relationships through their work will relate to Kafuku, both positively and negatively. All the supporting characters in the film are compelling, as their motivations, anxieties, and relationships build on the film’s core themes. It’s incredible how I wish Drive My Car were longer because I want to spend more time with these characters, even in a three-hour movie.
You can read my full review here