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#141. Chauffeurs

When it comes to driving somewhere, we rarely want to be the driver. Riding along as the passenger gives us a chance to watch the world around us, whipping by as the miles tick away on our journey. Of course, we still need someone to drive us somewhere if we are to be the passenger. This is why people are paid to drive. While the fancier drivers tend to be called chauffeurs, since they drive private automobiles or limousines, in the end, isn’t anyone who is paid to transport people in a car technically a chauffeur? How many times has your mother complained at having to chauffeur you around while you were growing up? Therefore, moms, dads, bus drivers, and taxi drivers could also be considered chauffeurs (even if the first two are free). This week’s two films examine what it’s like to drive around paying customers.

Driving Miss DaisyDriving Miss Daisy
Year: 1989
Rating: PG
Length: 99 minutes / 1.65 hours

Even though many could be considered chauffeurs, the true-definition of a chauffeur is leagues above the regularly paid (or unpaid) drivers. The trick is that in order for someone to hire a chauffeur, there’s a lot of money involved. As such, the cars are nicer and the tips are nicer. To some who occasionally get the privilege to ride in a limousine, the experience is definitely one of luxury. But what if you’re the one who always gets to ride in a limousine, because you’re the one driving it? Furthermore, even though a chauffeur would be considered a servant (or even down to a “slave” level), sometimes there’s so much time spent driving a single individual around that a deep relationship may result. Needless to say, if you want to bump elbows with the wealthy, there’s no better way to do so than to be a chauffeur.

Hoke Coleburn (Morgan Freeman) already had a great reputation as a chauffeur when he was hired to drive Daisy Werthan (Jessica Tandy) around town at the request of her son, Boolie (Dan Aykroyd). Before driving Miss Daisy, Hoke was a chauffeur for a local judge, so you know he could definitely be trusted to keep his passenger safe. Of course, the real trick of his talent comes from the fact that he doesn’t know how to read. Relying on instructions and directions from his passenger as well as having a knowledge of the area meant that Hoke never really needed to know how to read. However, Daisy would have nothing of that, so once she warmed up to him, she taught him how to read while he taught her that she’s not as helpless as she may seem. Through their relationship, both grow together into their respective old ages.

CollateralCollateral
Year: 2004
Rating: R
Length: 120 minutes / 2 hours

As was mentioned in a post earlier last year, one of the most dangerous professions involved with driving is that of a taxi driver. It’s easy to be a chauffeur for someone you interact with on a daily basis, but what if you have to chauffeur around a bunch of people you know nothing about? While we can try to give most people the benefit of the doubt, there are many who are dangerous and a taxi driver is their chauffeur. Even more to the point, what if a dangerous fare ends up taking the taxi driver as a hostage? This essentially ends up being a situation where the taxi driver is forced into being a criminal’s chauffeur. The driver of a getaway vehicle is still liable to be charged with a crime, since they are aiding and abetting a criminal, so what if they have no choice in the matter? With their life on the line, will they do what they can to stop the criminal, or drive them to the next crime scene?

Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) is a cab driver in Los Angeles, where he has picked up a variety of fares. After dropping off Annie Farrell (Jada Pinkett Smith), a U.S. Justice Department prosecutor, Max picks up a man by the name of Vincent (Tom Cruise). In order to keep Max driving him to different parts of the city, Vincent offers him $600 to drive and sit quietly at each stop. Unfortunately, after a man is killed by Vincent and falls onto Max’s taxi, it soon becomes obvious to him that Vincent is a hitman. Now Max is coerced into assisting Vincent in completing the rest of the hits for the night, not only as a getaway driver, but at times as an accomplice. After each hit, the plot thickens until Max figures out that the last target of this killer is Annie Farrell. Having just driven her earlier that night, Max is not going to stand for this and starts planning out how he can stop Vincent.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 charming chauffeurs

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2 responses to “#141. Chauffeurs

  1. Pingback: End of Act Three | Cinema Connections

  2. Pingback: MOVIE: Collateral (2004) – BMW the Creative

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