Saturday, September 13, 2014

Movie Review: "The Drop" (2014)

Movie"The Drop"
Director: Michael R. Roskam
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 46 minutes
Image Source
Bob (Tom Hardy) is a bartender working at a drop bar run by his Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini). Drop bars are a place where the criminal element of the city drop off money for a particular party, in this case, the Chechnyan Mob. After the bar is robbed, it puts Bob and Marv under the microscope of both the police and the mob. Meanwhile, Bob, on the way home from work, finds a beaten and abandoned puppy in a garbage can whining for help. A woman named Nadia (Noomi Rapace) helps Bob patch the dog up and gives him tips on how to take care of it. A short time later, things get worse when a man name Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts) comes by Bob's house claiming the dog is his and starts making threats towards him. All the while, Bob does his best to be a good man just trying to do right by his dog, his cousin Marv, and Nadia, as he just wants to stay out of trouble and tend the bar. 

This is an interesting movie that received very little promotion in our area for it being as good as it was. The entire film is a dramatic thriller with a slow-burning fuse, ready to explode without a moments notice. The tension is insurmountable and you feel it bearing down on you as the paranoia within each of the characters starts to build throughout the whole movie, a cauldron of emotion bubbling and oozing ever so slowly, ready to burst and burn anything in its path. Tom Hardy is extraordinary as Bob. We get to know him intensely without ever really knowing him at all. He has a calm stoicism about him, but you can tell there is more to him than he lets on. Bob seems like a nice guy, but it always appears there's something just below the surface that he's not disclosing about his past. One thing we love about Hardy's performance is that he seems to immerse himself in each of his roles, transforming fully into whatever character he takes on. He even went as far as delivering a relatively spot-on New York accent. In some ways, the movie almost seems a character sketch of Bob, but there is definitely a rough plot that follows a concrete chain of events that gets resolved. This chain of events and resolution never seem as important as understanding and knowing Bob as a character.

James Gandolfini is also very good in this movie as Marv, the desperate, jaded bartender who is bitter over the fact he used to be somebody in the neighborhood. This is his final performance, and he literally goes out with a bang. Gandolfini seems to almost reprise his role as Tony Soprano in some ways, hardened, willing to do whatever crime necessary to achieve recognition and assert his place in the chain of shadiness. Noomi Rapace's Nadia seemed to be a bit trashy, but trying to get on the straight and narrow, and she portrays this part beautifully. You get the sense that she's willing to change her ways, but everything around her seems to be holding her back. Her character is very conflicted throughout the film, and Rapace's acting shines next to Hardy's. Director Michael R. Roskam and writer Dennis Lehane captured the feel of a small bar in Brooklyn perfectly, a town where it seems like everyone is aware that crimes happen all around them, yet turn a blind eye and claim to see nothing.

All in all, this was an unexpected treat, if you can call it that. It's very dark and has a dismal subject matter, but at this point, we needed a good thriller to get started with the long list of end-of-year movies vying for Oscar glory. Who knows, maybe this will garner some much deserved attention.

My Rating: 8.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 8.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 87%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!
One year ago, we were watching: "The Wizard of Oz"

No comments:

Post a Comment