A rising director in the firmament of contemporary Japanese cinema, Ryusuke Hamaguchi marks a prolific 2021 with two important works of cinematic impact and perfectly fluid narrative: Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, which screened in competition at the Berlinale in February, and his latest, Drive My Car.
A visualization — more than an adaptation — of Haruki Murakami’s eponymous short story, Drive My Car is a road movie sui generis that travels paths of loneliness, loss, and bereavement, and investigates the deepest meaning of artistic representation as a universal key to understanding human nature.
An aging, widowed actor seeks a chauffeur. The actor turns to his go-to mechanic, who ends up recommending a 20-year-old girl. Despite their initial misgivings, a very special relationship develops between the two.