Overall Grade: (B+)
A moody crime-drama on the surface that delves deeper into the psyche and the affects of past sins on the soul, captured perfectly by excellent cast performances and strong writing.
“THE DROP” focuses on the quiet mannered Bob Saginowski (Hardy) as he works at his cousin Marv’s (Gandolfini) bar. The location is also a drop spot for local Brooklyn gangsters to launder their illegal earnings. When a robbery goes wrong and $5000 dollars turn up missing, Bob and Marv will dodge the local gangsters who will come looking for their money.
They will also have to deal with the police as they investigate the case and learn that finding evidence in a neighborhood that understands the value of silence, will be more than difficult. The lonely bartender will find solace in a stray puppy and the surprising company of a young woman named Nadia (Rapace) who turns out, has just as many demons in her closet as Bob does.
Before breaking down my thoughts on this film I will start by mentioning this was the last film James Gandolfini starred in prior to this unfortunate death. It will be sad to see him go and his performance in this one is a stark reminder that Hollywood lost a talented actor with his passing.
Like his portrayal of Tony Soprano for so many years, his performance as cousin Marv in this film was a textbook example of what Gandolfini was so great at, character acting. With his delivery of the dialogue and his conveyance of tone and emotion through sheer facial expressions alone his performance made this film even more intriguing than it already was.
Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace were also were good in this film. Hardy was able to deliver the persona needed for the character. With his delivery you get an odd sense that never is he scared of a moment, but he almost has like a numbness to the life he lives and the neighborhood he has grown up in. All along you can feel there is much more behind his character than the film is letting on and watching the course of the story-line to see when it will be revealed adds a great amount of captivating enjoyment.
Rapace was solid as the female lead and with her hesitant delivery and shy approach to the dialogue you can feel her character is a cautious and emotional broken woman who still is bound by her internal strength. She conveys the (I’m not happy but will live on) vibe the script gives her character and together with Hardy their awkward interactions feel realistic and clearly show some great chemistry.
The script is excellent, while many will expect a more visceral action film out of this one, the tone if much more of a dramatic story of the human conscious and life in the neighborhood. This was a great crime-drama that captured the under-workings of many cities and the struggle of living a good life without having your hand in something. The script focuses on the dialogue and intention, with the cast having a clear vision of what director Michaël R. Roskam wanted in tone, this helped in the story being able to build intrigue and tension with their performances and not a lot of the usual film gusto.
As the film progresses your attention is held as most scenes of conversation among the characters mean something for building the course of the story-line, the development of the characters as well as the setting of the region and its current socioeconomic status.
The cold winter season also adds to the dreary backdrop of the films location and mixes well the the personality of the characters. The cinematography is well done and keeps it simple without trying to over do anything. The moments of violence are well shot and capture the gritty feel the story holds throughout.
Overall this was a solid film and for fans of a good crime-drama, this one will not disappoint. It is not fast paced and did have some lulls but it was worth it to have the script build some strong tension to pay off with an eloquently subtle third-act reveal. The plot twist doesn’t force it and results in an entertaining tale of street-crime and the ease of which you can get wrapped up in it.