Drive re-scored by Radio 1, review: Ryan Gosling is still there but it's a very different film

A Radio 1 experiment broadcast on BBC Three made a very different film out of a much-lauded thriller

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Judging by the confusion and dismay on Twitter last week, you'd have thought Zane Lowe had just announced that he was planning a shot-for-shot remake of Citizen Kane with Jason Statham in the lead; or re-mixing OK Computer using only fart sounds.

Re-scoring Nicolas Winding Refn's adored Drive was certainly a challenge, its music would probably be considered the film's main character were Ryan Gosling not so damn smouldering.

While Zane and his Radio 1 team insisted that the artists chosen for the new soundtrack were not asked to make it similarly '80s, it was certainly fortuitous that alt-pop is in the midst of a synth revival, Chvrches in particular having a sound that would have sat comfortably on the original.

The artists whose contributions worked best were those who kept them deftly understated. Jon Hopkins, SBTRKT and Banks' tracks in particular were very effective, gently pulsing away as the driver ate up the road.

Some of the standalone songs were less successful, Bastille's effort jarring at the film's climax and its disparate lyrics detracting from the drama.

It was certainly a very different film - the soundtrack to the original having a kind of ghostly distance and apathy, making it seem dream-like and detached. While the new one at times over-sentimentalised scenes or tried to sum-up moments and emotions too cleanly.

If the experiment were repeated it would benefit from a tighter brief. It was painfully apparent that each artist had worked on their contribution alone and were coming from a different place with it, making it a little scattered.

On the whole though it was an enjoyable experience and an intriguing bit of film geekery, and were it possible to forget the addictive original soundtrack this version still yielded a film that would be lauded in its own right.

Winding Refn was charmingly delighted to have his work hacked up and jigged around, noting how it's now the reality for all films in the YouTube mash-up age anyway, and as hurt as some ardent Drive fans were about the project, it's not like the original was scrapped.

With Meow The Jewels on the way and many predicting that crowdfunds like the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign signal a future where cinema-goers choose what gets made, authorship is going to become a muddier topic in music and cinema, and fan-made homages like this are only going to grow in number.

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