Drive-possible aspie character?



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davidalan11235813
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Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:01 pm

Just saw it, and to start with, I think it's brilliant. I don't generally go for action films, but this seemed quite a bit smarter than the typical action flick. Sure, there's fights, shooting, and car chases galore, but but there's also a love story that's touching without being cliched, and a plot that you actually have to pay attention to. Not to mention the overall style of the movie. It's a Nicolas Winding Refn film, so style is to be expected, but this seems like what I'd expect if Jean Pierre Melville made a grindhouse film in the 80's.

Also, for anyone who has seen the film, does Ryan Gosling's character seem slightly asperger-ish to you? He rarely talks, but it doesn't seem like his silence is due to to him being some type of Clint Eastwood-esque badass. It seems more like he just doesn't have a clue what to do in social situations. Add on to that the fact that he constantly shies away from eye contact, seems to be somewhat obsessed with cars (or at the very least has an encyclopedic knowledge of them), and seems to dislike touching (at one point he tries to talk his way out of shaking another character's hand). Also, it's not necessarily exclusively an aspie trait, but he displays some very strict morals; he doesn't really care about money, or any type of reward, just doing what he view as right. Any thoughts?


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Mayel
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Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:04 pm

davidalan11235813 wrote:
Also, for anyone who has seen the film, does Ryan Gosling's character seem slightly asperger-ish to you? He rarely talks, but it doesn't seem like his silence is due to to him being some type of Clint Eastwood-esque badass. It seems more like he just doesn't have a clue what to do in social situations. Add on to that the fact that he constantly shies away from eye contact, seems to be somewhat obsessed with cars (or at the very least has an encyclopedic knowledge of them), and seems to dislike touching (at one point he tries to talk his way out of shaking another character's hand). Also, it's not necessarily exclusively an aspie trait, but he displays some very strict morals; he doesn't really care about money, or any type of reward, just doing what he view as right. Any thoughts?


I don't think that Winding tried to make the driver into anything specific... if that makes sense. According to Winding the driver got into doing stunts to have the illusion of doing great things which at the end leads him to become a hero which is what he wanted. Further I saw an interview where Gosling said that the character only connects with his emotions through driving (while listening to music) and that he's unable to connect with people in everyday life. Also, there was supposed to be more dialogue but they cut a lot off to make it more intense.

With that being said, the driver seems very different from others. He hasn't got any friends (except his boss). He is very unexpressive in his gestures and his way of talking (if he ever talks). It's clearly difficult for him to connect with other people. The only thing that he can connect with and which he uses to connect with others is his driving (and car fixing) and it's apparently his only interest which he pursues all the time. I don't know about the touching, I thought he really had dirty hands which is why he didn't want to shake hands (so he was just being honest even if it looked weird?). And while he doesn't talk a lot, what he needs to express, he does it with actions.
He's got bad social skills and a special interest....to put it in AS terms.
But we really don't know anything about the driver's past which would be crucial to make a better judgement. Other than that, I think, yes, he seems like it.

I really liked this movie. The driver reminded me a tiny bit of Travis (Taxi Driver) but of him it is known that he's a war veteran which explains a bit.



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Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:17 pm

I would say those kids from Death Note's "Wammy House" DEFINITELY have Asperger's Syndrome. GAHA. Near for the win!


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Mayel
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Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:54 am

If you search for Drive and autistic as keywords in google, there actually are many entries, reviews and comments that suggest the same that the driver could be viewed as autistic. If you search for Drive and Aspergers you get as many results. So.....I guess there are more people who get that vibe.



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Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:41 pm

I know this idea has been floating around since the movie came out. I asked my wife what she thought (being that she lives with an autistic husband :lol: and child) after we saw the movie on DVD, and she agrees, he seems like an Aspie. And I concur.

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davidalan11235813
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Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:27 pm

Mayel wrote:
davidalan11235813 wrote:
Also, for anyone who has seen the film, does Ryan Gosling's character seem slightly asperger-ish to you? He rarely talks, but it doesn't seem like his silence is due to to him being some type of Clint Eastwood-esque badass. It seems more like he just doesn't have a clue what to do in social situations. Add on to that the fact that he constantly shies away from eye contact, seems to be somewhat obsessed with cars (or at the very least has an encyclopedic knowledge of them), and seems to dislike touching (at one point he tries to talk his way out of shaking another character's hand). Also, it's not necessarily exclusively an aspie trait, but he displays some very strict morals; he doesn't really care about money, or any type of reward, just doing what he view as right. Any thoughts?


I don't think that Winding tried to make the driver into anything specific... if that makes sense. According to Winding the driver got into doing stunts to have the illusion of doing great things which at the end leads him to become a hero which is what he wanted. Further I saw an interview where Gosling said that the character only connects with his emotions through driving (while listening to music) and that he's unable to connect with people in everyday life. Also, there was supposed to be more dialogue but they cut a lot off to make it more intense.

With that being said, the driver seems very different from others. He hasn't got any friends (except his boss). He is very unexpressive in his gestures and his way of talking (if he ever talks). It's clearly difficult for him to connect with other people. The only thing that he can connect with and which he uses to connect with others is his driving (and car fixing) and it's apparently his only interest which he pursues all the time. I don't know about the touching, I thought he really had dirty hands which is why he didn't want to shake hands (so he was just being honest even if it looked weird?). And while he doesn't talk a lot, what he needs to express, he does it with actions.
He's got bad social skills and a special interest....to put it in AS terms.
But we really don't know anything about the driver's past which would be crucial to make a better judgement. Other than that, I think, yes, he seems like it.

I really liked this movie. The driver reminded me a tiny bit of Travis (Taxi Driver) but of him it is known that he's a war veteran which explains a bit.


I agree that Refn more likely than not did not try to make the driver an aspie. Really, my impression is that he was going for a different spin on the "stoic badass" archetype, ala Sergio Leone's "Man With no Name" from the Dollars trilogy. The difference is that the Driver is more socially awkward than stoic, which makes his come of as slightly autistic. Perhaps if the dialogue you mentioned had been included, it wouldn't have left me with that impression.

I have to admit though, part of what left me with the impression that his character is an aspie is personal experience. Personally, if I have a lot on my mind, driving around aimlessly helps me cope, with I kind of get the impression the Driver does. Also, like the Driver, I don't let myself get too close to people, but the few that do win my trust I'm fiercely loyal to.

Regardless of whether he's (unintentionally) autistic or not, he's one of my favorite film characters in recent memory. And no, it had nothing to do with the fact that Ryan Gosling is gorgeous (though it certainly doesn't hurt :P ).


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Mayel
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Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:03 am

davidalan11235813 wrote:
I have to admit though, part of what left me with the impression that his character is an aspie is personal experience. Personally, if I have a lot on my mind, driving around aimlessly helps me cope, with I kind of get the impression the Driver does. Also, like the Driver, I don't let myself get too close to people, but the few that do win my trust I'm fiercely loyal to.

Regardless of whether he's (unintentionally) autistic or not, he's one of my favorite film characters in recent memory. And no, it had nothing to do with the fact that Ryan Gosling is gorgeous (though it certainly doesn't hurt :P ).

I understand that. I also thought, I don't drive but I take a lot of walks every day while listening to music and I like to travel to look outside the window and see everything passing by which is something I need to do to think deeply and feel emotional. My emotions are very connected to music and me listening consciously to music is connected to the outside.
And with people that I trust and like, I let them take aimless walks with me.
When the driver asked about the shark if he can't be good,too...that's a question I often ask about characters in stories (may it be comics, films, animated movies,...etc.) and get a very similar answer. Though I think this scene is supposed to tell us something crucial about the driver's view of the world or even himself and not something random.

So even if they didn't put much thought in the driver's persona, it's a realistic depiction nonetheless, a realistic depiction of someone being different than others which is something they surely wanted to achieve and they did.
I'll add, he did become one of my favourite characters, as well. Certainly because I can somehow relate to his portrayal (apart from the violent things he does) and because it reminds me of Taxi Driver whose character I like very much, too.

And thinking about the shaking hands scene....he said his hands were dirty because he had his gloves on. Everytime he has his gloves on, he either drives or does something violent.....and even with the driving, it's not used for good purposes. So that's probably why he said his hands were dirty because he had his gloves on which for him are for dirty work so to speak. He was being honest and didn't want other people to get in touch with this dirtiness.

Here's an interview with the screenwriter and that's what he says about Ryan's influence on the character's interpretation:
Quote:
Ryan brought a geekiness and innocence to the part. It’s really with his facial expressions. For example, when he first meets Carey Mulligan’s husband, the way I’d written it, there was almost a standoff between these two men.But the way Ryan played it, he was aware but almost seemed innocent to the other guy’s jealousy and aggression. He had this smile on his face. It’s fantastic the way he gave his character this almost autistic combination of innocence and otherworldliness and he really inhabits his own world where he doesn’t see the subtext to what other people are plotting. That’s an actor’s genius in bringing something so complex to what’s on the page.



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