The Drop (2014) Directed by Michaël R. Roskam. With Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts and Noomi Rapace.
Michaël R. Roskam’s The Drop is the story of two cousins (Hardy and Gandolfini) working in a Brooklyn ‘drop’ bar called ‘Cousin Marv’s‘, which doubles as a watering hole for sports fans, and a depository for the criminal underworld. Adapted by Dennis Lehane from his own short story, Animal Rescue, the film is a gritty, absorbing tale of duality, with two engaging performances by Tom Hardy and James Gandolfini.
The sight of Gandolfini in this kind of setting, immediately brings to mind his towering portrayal of Tony Soprano. I remain utterly convinced there isn’t a better TV-series out there. If you haven’t seen The Sopranos, first of all, you’re an idiot Now that we’ve established that, stop reading this and go improve your quality of life by purchasing the box-set. *inserts winky-faced emoji.
Unlike so many crime-thrillers, The Drop isn’t a film that’s held aloft by plot or set-pieces. Rather, its brilliance is in the detail and depth of character that Hardy and Gandolfini provide. These are two men for whom, in light of their entanglements, we’re allowed to feel empathy, which both splinters and heightens as things unveil. The hard push of the cold, cruel world that’s depicted is strikingly juxtaposed with an emotional pull that whacks a solid punch.
The Drop is not a film that goes out of its way to be overly hospitable, yet with each passing scene, you find yourself more engrossed. It’s partly about the menacing threat of violence that lingers in the air, but it’s also a finely balanced, beautifully acted piece that twists our perspective by fogging the moral compass to such a degree, that you might temporarily lose sight of your bearings. 4/5