In this car, we raise cigarettes out the sunroof, not peace signs.
In the same way that Toni Morrison's novel, Beloved, throws you right into the story, sans explanation, Drive My Car progresses in just about the same way. It's like walking around without glasses for a bit—you can only vaguely see everything and kind of understand what's going on, but it isn't until you get further into the story and put on your glasses that things become clearer.
Based on Haruki Murakami's novel of the same name, Drive My Car tracks Yūsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) both prior to and after his wife, Oto's (Reika Kirishima), sudden and unexpected death. As the fog begins to clear at about one-quarter of the way through, we get a better sense of what's actually going on here.
Kafuku and Oto are both writers involved in the entertainment industry: Kafuku primarily works in the theater, both as an actor and director, while Oto is a well-known screenwriter. The two are very closely bonded, often orally writing screenplays together and physically writing down the dialogue later on. After the death of their four-year-old daughter, their bond became even closer as they needed each other to go on with their lives following the tragedy.