“Drive My Car” (2021): Turbocharged Metaphor


An actor/director is assigned a young woman to drive his Saab 900 Turbo around and about during a film festival. We shall come to find that this luxury automobile is metamorphic. A device symbolizing the drive to shake the past and propel forward.

Adapted from Haruki Murakami’s short story, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car is a haunting road movie traveling a path of love, loss, acceptance, and peace. Winner of three prizes at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, including Best Screenplay.

The Good

Hidetoshi Nishijima and Toko Miura are, individually and in tandem, superb in their respective roles, teaching and drawing from each other that which will sustain them both.

The Bad

I get the epic, life-changing drama thing and all. But at three hours “Drive My Car” is simply too long a trip. Though, to be fair, I’ve seen flicks of far less duration that dragged one whole helluva lot more than this one does at times.

And so it begins…

Sadness in a Saab

Both of these people are damaged goods emotionally. He, having recently and suddenly lost his wife. She, having experienced the death of her mother as a child. Neither of these relationships were ideal. Still, on a human connection level, each feels a profound sense of guilt and culpability for the passing of their family member.

Over the course of “Drive My Car” these two randomly paired souls slowly let down their guard, revealing deeply personal inner secrets and struggles.

You can choose to let go and power ahead……or not

There are those among us who wish us to feel guilt. Now. And forever.

For something we had no part in. And never will.

It is about moving forward. Not being stuck in the past.

Changing. For the better. Then becoming ever more so.

Such is the press forward no matter how damn hard it is premise of “Drive My Car”.


In a riveting climatic scene among cold and snow, we learn what most of us have known all along. We must forgive ourselves for the sins of the past. Find our own peace. And carry on.

Stronger. Wiser. Happier.

And that when the time comes at last for reconciliation with the Almighty, we must confess. Openly. Honestly. With humility absolute.

Only then can we receive ultimate forgiveness. And the glorious gift of eternal reunification with loved ones who have passed before. No matter how they may have been lost to us.

And, as we are reassured in the final moments of “Drive My Car”…

a dog as your trusty co-pilot can sure help a lot, too.

I invite you to enjoy all of my entertaining and eclectic film reviews as “The Quick Flick Critic”, continually updated at https://thequickflickcritic.blogspot.com/

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“Drive My Car” (2021): Turbocharged Metaphor
  • Acting - 7.75/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 7.25/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7.5/10
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“Drive My Car” (2021): Turbocharged Metaphor

There are those among us who wish us to feel guilt. Now. And forever.

For something we had no part in. And never will.

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About John Smistad

I am a voracious writer of Movie Reviews. Check 'em out at my Blog, "The Quick Flick Critic", @: The Quick Flick Critic Thanks guys! John

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