" The Drop"
Release Date: Sept. 12, 2014
Running Time: 106 minutes
The late James Gandolfini’s final film, The Drop, finds the star of The Sopranos once again operating on the wrong side of the law. This time, though, he’s the one under the thumb of a merciless mobster. Gandolfini’s Cousin Marv runs a Brooklyn bar he once owned but had to turn over years earlier to the Chechen mafia. The bar is one of many in the borough that the Chechens use for money drops. When the bar is robbed, Cousin Marv and bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) must retrieve the stolen money or face the wrath of their boss. If that wasn’t enough of a worry, Bob also must contend with neighborhood sociopath Eric Deeds (Bullhead's Matthias Schoenaerts), the former owner of an abused dog Bob found and adopted. Deeds takes it as a personal insult that Bob now owns his dog, and he’s intent on making life hell for both Bob and his dog sitter, Nadia (Noomi Rapace). Directed by Bullhead’s Michael R. Roskam, The Drop is another compelling psychological study of a quiet but gentler giant under duress. Unlike Schoenaerts’ cattle farmer in Bullhead, though, Hardy’s barkeep eludes a calmness that cannot be broken no matter the circumstances. Hardy’s carefulness stands in stark contrast to Schoenaerts’ barely contained aggression. That said, Deeds often reads like a book. Not so Bob, and the dark secret he hides factors into a surprising climax that forces you to rethink everything that has come before. Bob’s commitment to his dog Rocco, which results in the most humane moments to be found in The Drop, reveals a compassionate side of Bob that informs much of the events inside and outside the bar. As Cousin Marv, Gandolfini casts a long shadow, as expected. He counterbalances the regret Marv feels for losing his bar with an anger that simmers under the surface and occasionally manifests itself in a bitterness toward those he feels has disrespected himself, most notably Bob. Gandolfini’s also very much at home in the tough working-class neighborhood screenwriter Dennis Lehane drops us in. The celebrated author of Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River knows his way around Brooklyn just as well as he does his native Boston, and he and Roskam take us inside a close-knit community that rallies around and mourns for its own with intensity. The Drop shares the same brooding tone and demoralized spirit of Gone, Baby, Gone and Mystic River, and while it isn’t as memorable as those crime dramas, it certainly offers a gripping portrait of life on the mean streets of a blue-collar neighborhood as walked by one man and his dog.
Aired: Sept. 11, 2014
Web site: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/thedrop/