Sid 6point7 said:
It really boils down to the viewer and how they interpret the film. If it's an autistic homo you see then you might not know someone who's the violent, quiet type. Very soft spoken, laid back, snap-on-a-whim people exist out there. Again, actions speak louder than words; that's the point.
I personally have been in love and infatuated with only a few specific women in my life, I know the feeling it gives, so I could relate to all the subtle gesturing and emotions emitting back and forth between the driver and Irene. That's what made for great character development. When the camera went slow-motion and the Driver was taking Benicio in the apartment, Irene was following behind and just had that emotion you could feel through her facial expression. Refn did a great job in capturing those throughout the whole movie.
I just saw Bronson and Valhalla Rising a couple weeks before this so in a way I knew what I was getting myself into... sure Drive is a borrowed story with wholesale elements from other movies, but the way in which it was done was a very unique, and intriguing angle.
Still ranks up there with some of my favs like Last of the Mohicans, Gladiator, Chinatown.
I have known plenty of people like that in my life. Ryan Gosling doesn't have the face or voice to pull it off in my opinion. His blank stares and facial expressions don't do a good job of projecting anything.
These dialog-less scenes you are referring too just didn't convey the emotion I thought the director was going for, it all just seemed so forced and cliche. "Quiet dangerous guy falls for single mother and becomes protective over her son", we have seen it a thousand times because as you said, these elements have been borrowed by other movies. We know NOTHING about the Driver or his back story, only that he is a stunt driver and moonlights as a wheel-man. The way he turns into Jason Bourne is just very unrealistic to me.
I also didn't think the character development was done well at all. A few 5 minute silent scenes between the Driver and Irene just didn't do it for me. We never get a clear idea of exactly how far their relationship went. He's just the quiet guy in the building who helps her when her car breaks down, and all of a sudden he's like a father figure to the son. I thought the character development was WAY too fast. Also, this guy is willing to brutally murder people for this woman. It really just didn't make any sense.
I have never seen Bronson or Valhalla Rising so maybe I should check them out, but it just bothers me for some reason when I read someone saying that Drive should be ranked among the best films of our time. I am the demographic this film was looking for, and I just do not understand the praise it is receiving. Is it the worst film I have ever seen? Definitely not. I am just honestly not as impressed by this movie as other people seem to be.