The Drop is a dark, brooding crime film starring Tom Hardy and the late James Gandolfini. Directed by Mikaël Roskam, this film focuses on Bob, a low level shy bartender at Cousin Marv's. The bar is a "drop bar" in which the mob's money gets laundered there. While this does sound like the story to The Drop, it isn't. The film is much more a character study first about Bob and his back story. What this film does beautifully is show the progression of the story strictly through casual dialog, explaining why Bob is the way he is. Our first clue to Bob's back story is a subtle hint as he attends church and does not accept the communion offering. A recurring theme throughout the film is the idea of how a sin can weigh your conscious down. Some of this is heavy handed and others are very subtle and mostly through something as small as a glare from Tom Hardy or a sigh from James Gandolfini. Quite frankly, without these amazing performances from everyone across the board, this film would more than likely sink after the first 30 minutes. The entire cast from Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Repace, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz, they are all in top form here. There is not one hollow or fake performance, they are all pitch perfect and really pull together to mend the story and progress it very well. The real stand out is Tom Hardy though, who continuously keeps turning in really well, thoughtful and master class performances, The Drop is no exception. Gandolfini also gives a fitting final performance here and knocks it out of the park. Watching him on the screen is rather haunting in a bittersweet way. Roskam seems to rely heavily on letting his actors work without every manipulating a scene with high tech camera work or any camera movement at all. This is a straight forward film filled with actual characters that feel alive and feel vulnerable and at any moment their life could end in this world that Roskam creates. This isn't the hipster Brooklyn that Brooklyn has seemingly become lately, this is Roskam's Brooklyn and its a cold land without any glorification. The screenplay by Dennis Lehane is top notch, establishing plot points by sprinkling them across the entire film before finally concluding in a twisted but necessarily dark ending that ties everything together. While this does work for the most part, it does feel a bit muddled in second act as if the story is in some sort of limbo, but it quickly gets back on track in no time. The film does have its lighter moments within dialog and scenes with Rocco the pitbull puppy, but for the most part this a really dark film with an equally gritty scenery. Overall, The Drop is a tense and gritty crime film with an amazing cast that doesn't miss a beat. I highly recommend it.
Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery
Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery
We open with a montage explaining what a drop bar is. Its the central bar that holds all the collection money from other mob owned businesses to be picked up later. In this story, it's the Chechen mafia. The drop bar location always changes.Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) is a bartender at neighborhood bar in Brooklyn called Cousin Marv's. A group of old timers toast to a kid (Richie) who died ten years ago. Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) is angry that they keep doing this and even angrier that his soft bartender lets an old woman drink for free and smoke cigarettes illegally inside when he's not around.On his way home, Bob finds a whimpering pit bull inside a garbage can. Nadia (Noomi Rapace) wants to know who's snooping around her trash. She comes out and sees that the dog is badly injured. She agrees to help Bob, but only after she takes a picture of his license and sends it to a few friends. Together they patch up the dog. Bob tells her that he can't take care of it right now. She tells him that because it's a pit bull, it'll be put down at the shelter if its owner doesn't show. Bob agrees to come back in a few days to take the dog. Someone watches them from across the street.Bob goes to church. The congregation is small so its not hard for him to always notice fellow parishioner Detective Torres (John Ortiz). He also notices a statue of Saint Rocco, who has a dog. Bob picks up the dog and confesses to Nadia that he doesn't know how to care for a dog. Together they go to the pet store to buy supplies. They also make a name tag for him. Bob names him Rocco.Cousin Marv's is robbed by two guys. During the robbery, Bob notices that one of the gunmen has a broken watch. Detective Torres shows up to investigate and Bob tells him about the watch. This really upsets Marv, who knows that the Chechens are going to be pissed. Torres says that he noticed he goes to church with Bob and asks if he knew that the church was folding to be part of another church and that the land was probably going to be turned into condos with stained glass windows. He also asks why Bob never takes communion. Bob tells him that's none of his business. Torres questions whether or not it is. Bob assures him, "it isn't."Chovka (Michael Aranov), the face of the Chechen mob shows up while Marv and Bob are shoveling snow. Chovka reveals that he has captured one of the men responsible for the robbery. The man is gagged and impaled by his right foot to the floor of the van with heavy bolt. Chovka asked Marv and Bob if they know this man. They both say no. He wants to know why the cops know about the broken watch. Bob apologizes. Chovka tells Marv to find the money. Marv freaks out because if he knew how to find that money, that would mean he had something to do with the robbery.Nadia and Bob take Rocco to the dog park. Nadia lost a night of work and asks if she can dog sit Rocco for a little extra money. Bob agrees. After they part ways, Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) shows up and tells Bob that he has a nice dog. Bob takes Rocco and leaves.Marv lives with his sister Dottie (Ann Dowd). Dottie tells Marv that a collection agency has been calling because they need to pay for their dad's life support. She suggests maybe its time to let him go. Marv disagrees strongly. He storms out and meets up with one of the robbers to tell him to tell his brother to get a new watch. From their conversation, we learn that Marv was in on the robbery after all.Deeds shows up at Bobs house and welcomes himself inside. He asks questions about the dog and tells Bob he wants it back. Bob says he doesn't get to hurt the dog anymore and he should leave. Deeds takes Bob's umbrella and sees himself out. Bob brings Rocco to work with him.On his way into the bar, Marv is stopped by a man asking for directions. Marv is freaked because something about the man is suspicious. He tells Bob that Deeds is a local thug who claims to have killed the kid, Richie,who the old timers were toasting. Between Deeds and the guy asking for directions, something is weird. They go out back to get in the garbage and there's a bag tied to the fence. In the bag is a severed arm with the broken watch and all the money taken from the robbery.Bob wraps up the arm and throws it in a duffel bag. Marv is unsettled by how casual Bob is being. Marv comments that it seems as though Bob has done this a thousand times. Later, Bob takes the arm and throws it in the river. Torres shows up and asks Bob if he knows Eric Deeds. Bob says not really. Meanwhile, Marv washes the robbery money.The Chechens show up and Marv returns the money. They tell him that his bar will be the drop bar for the night of the Super Bowl.Nadia is a little angry that Bob didn't let her know that he was taking Rocco to work. He apologizes and they have some drinks and get to know each other. She has scars on her neck that she reveals are from when she used to have a drug problem. She explains that she stabbed herself with a potato peeler.Marv finds the robber and tells him to get in the car. The robber doesn't want to because last time he saw his brother was when someone else told him to get in a car. He wants to make sure Marv doesn't have the trunk lined in plastic. Marv pops it open, its fine. The robber gets in and they go for a ride. Marv tells him that they're going to rob the place again during the night of the Super Bowl, but the robber refuses. The trunk pops open again and Marv tells the guy to get out and slam it shut. When he does, Marv runs him over and kills him.Eric Deeds stops by and starts asking Bob about Nadia, specifically if she's stabbed herself with a potato peeler lately. Bob asks Nadia how she knows Deeds. She freaks out and storms off. Later she apologizes and confesses that they used to date. She also warns Bob that Deeds is crazy and says he killed that kid. Bob says he heard.Bob goes home and calls for Rocco, but there is no answer. He goes to his crate and Rocco is fine, but his umbrella is there too. Deeds has been in his house. He goes to ask Deeds to back off and tells him hes not returning the dog. Deeds says he can keep it for $10,000.Torres gets a cop friend to show him Deeds's psych file. Something in the file catches his interest.Marv meets with Deeds and tells him that Bob is scared of him and says that he has a solution where everyone can win.Marv calls Bob and tells him he won't be into the bar for the Super Bowl. Bob asks if he's planning on doing something desperate that they can't clean up this time. Marv yells at him and tells him how he used to be feared and respected, but lost that when he lost the bar to the Chechens. He also knows it's a slap in his face that Bob lets the old lady sit on his old stool. Bob says its just a stool. "That's all it is. It doesn't mean anything."Bob takes $10K hidden in his basement with him to the bar, along with Rocco, for the Super Bowl. He puts it behind the bar next to a pistol.Deeds breaks into Nadia's home and forces her to go to Cousin Marv's Bar with him. While he's there Marv calls him and asks where he is that's so noisy. Deeds tells him that he's at the bar. Marv warns him not to underestimate the very soft spoken and gentle Bob. Marv lines his trunk with plastic and heads to the bar. He parks a block and a half away and watches.Different mob guys drop off money throughout the night. Eventually the bar clears except for Deeds and Nadia. Deeds shows Nadia that he has a gun, then he goes outside to smoke. Nadia cries and warns Bob that Deeds is planning on shooting him. Deeds comes back in and Bob offers him the money for the dog. Deeds asks how much for Nadia and says he'd rather have the money in the safe. Bob says he can't do that and tells him the story of the dead kid.Bob tells the story. Marv had a horrible gambling problem when he was a loan shark. A lot of people owed him money. The kid was one of those people. But the kid won a bunch of money at the casino and paid back Marv. But it wasn't enough to cover Marv's debt, so no one could know that the kid paid anything. Bob found the kid and shot him in the face twice. He explains in detail how he disposed of the body with lye in an oil tank. So, says Bob, if he (Bob) killed the kid, how is it that Deeds is running around claiming to have done it himself?As Deeds starts to answer, Bob shoots him twice in the face. He tells Nadia that she is safe now and she can go. She can't believe that he trusts her to not tell anyone of the shooting. Terrified, she runs out. The Chechens come and dispose of Deeds body. Chovka tells Bob he should rename the place "Bob's Bar." Bob says he's just a bartender. Chovka tells him he's the new Marv.Outside, Marv sees the man who asked for directions earlier approaching his car. He knows what's next. The man shoots Marv in the head.Torres comes to investigate. Marv is dead and Deeds is missing. Bob isn't surprised because that's the kind of neighborhood it is. Torres tells him that the church was in fact bought for housing development and asks if he'll see Bob at the closing. Bob says he'll be there. Torres is about to walk away, but comes back and says that Deeds couldn't have killed the kid because he was in the psych ward at the time. He starts to leave, and then he steps back, leans into Bob's ear, and in a whisper asks, "I bet no one ever sees you coming. Do they?"Bob takes Rocco to Nadia's home so Bob can apologize for that night at the bar. In her front yard, he explains that's not really who he is anymore. He asks if they can hang out. She's thoughtful for a moment, and then says, "Let me get my jacket".
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December 30, 2015 at 11:40 AM