The Drop is a crime drama set against a Brooklyn backdrop that stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and rather fittingly, James Gandolfini in his last screen performance. It marks the Hollywood debut of Belgian director Michael R. Roskam and is a prime example of how to quietly build tension.
Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) tends the bar for Marv (James Gandolfini) at the aptly titled Cousin Marv’s, which also operates as a ‘drop’ bar where money changes hands between the mob. In this case, it is the Chechen mob.
When the bar is robbed, Marv and Bob both start to feel the pressure put on them by the Chechens to find out who stole the money and get it back. Marv, who used to run things back in the day, knows that if they fail it will be their heads on the line.
Bob also comes across an abandoned and abused puppy in Nadia’s (Noomi Rapace) garbage. Taking the puppy under his wing and growing closer to Nadia, Bob soon realises that he will have to deal with the dangerous Eric Deeds (Matthias Schoenaerts), who is the owner of the puppy and Nadia’s ex-boyfriend, as well as the mob.
The Drop is a film based on the short story, Animal Rescue by Dennis Lehane. Lehane is no stranger to having his work adapted by filmmakers with his novels including; Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island all going on to become critically acclaimed films.
Lehane’s screenplay combined with Roskam’s style of direction ensure that The Drop will be added to that list.
This crime drama also has a cast at hand to provide the standard of performance you would expect. Tom Hardy has gained himself quite a reputation as one of the better actors of his generation in recent years and in The Drop, Hardy gives another class performance. He gives Bob a comforting side when spending time with the puppy or Nadia as well a mysterious edge that means you will not want to cross him.
James Gandolfini is a real screen presence and he will be sorely missed, particularly in roles such as Marv. His experience is key in The Drop, both adding weight to Marv’s past as the top dog in the neighbourhood and no doubt giving valuable advice to Hardy in his role of Bob.
While feeling a little underused throughout, Noomi Rapace makes the most of her screen time with a vulnerable turn as Nadia, herself with a past she keeps under wraps.
The Drop is not the hard-hitting crime drama that some may expect it to be however, director Michael Roskam masterfully builds the tension slowly throughout and with the mystery, particularly surrounding Hardy’s character added on top, it leads to a pay-off that is well worth the wait.