Drive My Car
Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi Run Time: 179 min. Release Year: 2021 Language: Japanese
Two years after his wife’s unexpected death, Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a renowned stage actor and director, receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya at a theater festival in Hiroshima. There, he meets Misaki Watari (Toko Miura), a taciturn young woman assigned by the festival to chauffeur him in his beloved red Saab 900. As the production’s premiere approaches, tensions mount amongst the cast and crew, not least between Yusuke and Koji Takatsuki, a handsome TV star who shares an unwelcome connection to Yusuke’s late wife. Forced to confront painful truths raised from his past, Yusuke begins – with the help of his driver – to face the haunting mysteries his wife left behind. 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.
Indie, Drama, World Cinema
“Drive My Car effectively captures the double-edged nature of storytelling as a means of both processing and deflecting emotions; Uncle Vanya can be used to work through pain or to postpone it. Hamaguchi clearly recognizes film’s similar power. In Drive My Car, he asks his viewers to gaze into the characters’ passions and regrets without looking away.” – Vikram Murthi, The AV Club