Friday, December 26, 2014

The Drop (2014)

Director: Michael R. Roskam
Writer:    Dennis Lehane
Cast:       Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini

Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living- no matter the cost.

The film is adapted from Dennis Lehane's 2009 short story 'Animal Rescue'. His previous work that have been adapted to screen include 'Mystic River' and 'Gone Baby Gone', of which I found the former to be very overrated while the latter was really great. Both of those films were directed by actor-turned directors which is something I am not a fan of. That said I have spotted a trend, in a not so scientific manner, that shittier the actor better he would do as a director (Think Clint Eastwood and Ben Affleck). The director of 'The Drop', Michael R. Roskam, had previously made the Belgian film 'Rundskop' (Bullhead) about which I have heard good things and is apparently a very hard film to watch. 

The name for the film comes from the idea that the dirty money in the city is dropped each night at a designated mob owned bar which is chosen for the night in a random fashion. So the idea is if you know which one is the drop bar for the night it could be robbed pissing off some very dangerous people. The bar at the center of the film is 'Cousin Marv's' which used to be owned by well- Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) but is now mob owned with Marv acting like a pseudo owner. His cousin Bob (Tom Hardy) is 'just' the bartender who doesn't want to get himself too involved with the shady side of the bar. But Marv has other ideas leaving them in a precarious position. Meanwhile Bob finds an injured dog in a trash can of a girl and he adopts the dog like a kid and the girl becomes sort of a girlfriend. Both girl and the dog have a psycho connection whom also start meddling with Bob's life. The overall setup is fairly low key without any stylization whatsoever. I think it helps that it is adapted from a short story and not a novel since it gives a lot more freedom to the director. Going by the cast one would expect some excellent performances and that is what you get with plenty of nuances in them. It is James Gandolfini's last feature film and the way he speaks in this film is very Tony Soprano like. I could see some of the mannerisms from 'Peaky Blinders' creeping in to Tom Hardy's performance. There is no big twist without warning in the film and the expositions are done very well with allusions to what happened in the past sprinkled all over the film trusting the viewer to piece them all together. 

Overall it is great solid watch with some very good performances. It is good to see that Tom Hardy has not gone all Hollywood on us after his involvement in couple of Nolan films. He has done some great little independent kind of works in 'The Drop', 'Locke', 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' and 'Peaky Blinders'. He has been getting criticisms for his accents lately but I never found it to be problematic. He is gonna be in the upcoming 'Mad Max' film which should be interesting even though I haven't seen the previous installments. 

Rating: 4/5