After the South Korean film, Parasite, shocked the international public in 2020. Now the Japanese film, Drive My Car, repeats the moment. This cinematic work, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, is even predicted to match Parasite’s achievements by winning an Oscar this year.

The work, which was named the winner of the 2022 Golden Globes Awards for the foreign language film category, tells the story of Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a theater actor who has to live a life of regret and search for peace of mind after the death of his wife, Oto (Reika Kirishima).

From interactions with Koji Takatsuki (Masaki Okada), his wife’s mistress, and Misaki Watari (Toko Miura), his personal driver, as well as a theater performance by Anton Chekhov, Kafuku then gets answers to the inner problems that surround him.

Besides offering silence and surprise at the end of the story, the nearly three-hour film also holds many interesting facts. Here are seven interesting facts about the movie Drive My Car.

Adapted from a short story of the same title by Haruki Murakami
Drive My Car is a cinematic product adapted from a short story of the same name by Haruki Murakami. This work–along with six other short stories–is contained in the book Men Without Women , published in 2014.

The short story that ranks first in the book is set in the classic car, Saab, owned by the main character, Yusuke Kafuku. Through his conversation with Misaki Watari, Kafuku’s personal driver, the plot and conflict of the story are presented from inside the car, including Kafuku’s memory of his wife’s affair, Oto, with the talented young actor, Koji Takatsuki.

There are differences in detail and storyline between short stories and film works
The plot and details of the Drive My Car film are not 100 percent similar to Haruki Murakami’s short story. From the aspect of the storyline, the timeline of the film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi is told linearly. The storytelling model is clearly different from the short story version, which mostly displays flashback scenes.

Meanwhile, from the details of the story, this film presents many different details from the short story version. One of the things that is very markedly different is the moment Kafuku first meets with Misaki Watari, his personal driver.

In the short story version, the two met with the help of Kafuku’s Saab car mechanic. As for the film, Kafuku and Misaki are brought together by the theater performance organizer.

This film provides clearer answers to the riddles contained in the short story version
Most of Haruki Murakami’s short stories do present puzzles and philosophical narratives that often leave readers with questions. However, the film Drive My Car which was adapted from one of the great Japanese writers’ short stories does not leave a question mark for the audience. The message of the story is clearly conveyed to the audience.

At least, there are two riddles in Haruki Murakami’s short story that are answered in the film version. The first puzzle is related to the continuation of Oto’s story about the girl who smuggles the house of the boy he likes. Then the second relates to the reason Oto cheated on Kafuku. These two things are the joints and the key to the story.

‘Drive My Car’ features stories from Haruki Murakami’s other works and Chekhov .’s theatrical scripts
This film is full of stories. In addition to the main story which tells the figures of Kafuku and Misaki, Drive My Car also presents fragments of two other stories belonging to Haruki Murakami entitled “Scheherazade” and “Kino”. Not only that, Anton Chekhov’s theatrical script titled Uncle Vanya was also present in the storytelling.

The three stories are not only present to enliven the atmosphere, but also function as a support for the story. The existence of the three actually managed to strengthen the message of the story, both in the short story and the film version.

Won many international awards and is expected to win an Oscar in 2022
Since its premiere in 2021 at the Cannes Film Festival , the film Drive My Car has stolen the world’s public attention. The attention grew stronger after the film was named the cinematic product with the best scenario in the performance.

This film then shined even more after the National Society of Film Critics named it the best film and screenplay in 2022. Golden Globes . Awards award for best foreign language film also opens the chance for Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s film to win an Oscar in 2022 and equal the achievements of Parasite two years ago.


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By Rama