[Quick Summary: With one last getaway job, the Driver helps out a dame (The Player), and teaches the Detective a lesson to boot.]
Walter Hill has one hell of a muscular voice.
I hate talking about "voice" because:
1) It's like trying to define the wind.
2) Everyone tells writers they need one. No one tells you how to get it.
But I can't avoid it here. The Driver has a big muscular voice.
So I'll bumble around trying to define it.
What is voice? To me, it is how a writer puts the story together.
- How does the writer focus the reader?
- What is the flow? What choices does he/she make?
What is muscular? It's a blunt, direct energy.
- It pairs off best with action films.
- It's not limited to a male point of view, but does work well.
Here are a few things Hill does to create a muscular voice:
- The easiest to identify is Hill's trademark fast, spare narrative.
ex. "The Connection steps out.
A tall young woman with slicked back hair."
- The characters have no frills, no extraneous details.
ex. To keep the focus on the here and now, there is virtually no back story on the Driver, or anyone else.
- Punches make real contact. There is no backing down from conflict.
ex. When the Driver and Detective clash, one wins the skirmish, and they move on. No whining, no excuses.
- Men act like men, and women act like women, without either being weak or wimpy.
ex. There's no hemming or hawing. If I like you, I let you know. If I don't, I also let you know.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: A muscular voice is very sure of itself.
The Driver (1978)
Written & directed by Walter Hill