Some films seem to come out of nowhere, with no adverts, trailers or marketing. This is normally a red flag, implying that the studio wants to bury the film due to having no confidence in it. Learning to Drive, however, isn’t exactly a film that would’ve had a huge budget, so that makes this lack of marketing a bit more of a grey area. To make things more confusing, it’s listed on IMDB as being a 2014 release, which, if it’s the truth, doesn’t help anticipation for this film.

After her husband admits to cheating on her, demanding a divorce in the progress, book critic Wendy (Patricia Clarkson) suddenly finds that she is alone, and seemingly significantly, unable to drive. Darwan (Ben Kingsley) is a Sikh man living in Manhattan, working as both a taxi driver and a driving instructor. Both of them aren’t exactly where they want to be in their lives, and when Wendy starts taking driving lessons from Darwan, they strike up an unlikely friendship.

Learning to Drive Review

As you can probably tell from my introduction, I went into this film more or less blind, and as you can probably tell from the above synopsis, there’s not a lot to tell. This film is as simple and linear as a film can be. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but those looking for a bit more to think about should look elsewhere. The film does briefly touch on things like racism, differences in culture and relationships, but none of them are covered in much detail.

There are also quite a few subplots and minor characters, all clearly introduced to pad this film out and make it feature-length. The reason for this becomes obvious when the end credits start to roll, and it’s revealed that this film is based on a magazine article. I have no snobbish feelings against this, as inspiration can come from anywhere at any time, however, it does explain the lack of depth on show in this film.