The Drop tells the story of “retired” mobster Cousin Marv (James Gandolfini) who know runs a money drop through his bar for the new mob boss. His partner in crime Bob (Tom Hardy) who is a little slow and slightly socially inept helps him to run the bar keeps things going smoothly. This all changes when two thieves rob the bar putting Marv and Bob on thin ice with their mob “partners”.
The Drop is sadly the last film of the late great James Gandolfini. He certainly leaves us with an incredible film from start to finish. His performance is nothing short of superb. Capturing the characters essence of a mobster trying to grasp at his once tremendous presence. The subtlety at which he presents the struggle of the characters shines through in the patterns of his speech and his overall presentation. At times seeming to ramble while remaining on subject provides layers of simultaneous confidence and anxiety. Gandolfini’s performance is matched and supported by Tom Hardy.
Tom Hardy portrays a character that seems at first, out of place with rest of these criminals and thugs. This is highlighted by his floundering interactions with his female co-star Noomi Rapace. His performance is truly telling of his potential with his ability to display the same mannerisms and characteristics of a character while providing completely different implications regarding intent. I wish I could tell you more but I fear I am treading on the thin ice of spoilers. Not to be overshadowed by her male counter-parts, Noomi Rapace excellently portrays a character trapped and pulled in two different directions. She is forced to decide between two interpretations of wickedness.
What I liked most about this film is how they misdirected the audience. They lead the audience into making judgement’s about the characters which they flip later on in the film. It is masterly crafted to lead the audience on. The directing style is really slick, very simple and straightforward. Camera shots are very steady and tracking shots are kept to a minimum. The depth and complexity of the film is purely in the character portrayals and the choices they make.
Surprisingly, the subplot actually tied a lot of the film together. This is where Noomi Rapace comes in. Hardy first meets her when he walks by her house and notices that somebody place a puppy in her trash can. Hardy ends up taking the puppy and starting to care for it. Quickly realizing that he has never taken of anything else before, asks Rapace to help him with the basics. She reluctantly accepts and a romance begins to bud.
What was also done very well is the balance between the plot and subplot. Often times a subplot, especially that of the romantic variety, are thrown in without any relevance to the main plot. You end up getting a subplot that adds nothing to the characters development, which is what a well executed subplot should do. With The Drop, you get a romantic subplot that gives you insight into the minds and behaviors of the characters. At first it seems fairly unrelated, just a random occurrence that allows the main narrative to divert to every once in awhile. However, the subplot quickly interacts with the main plot and by the end the behaviors of the characters within, especially Tom Hardys, become clear. I wish I could say more but I fear I’m starting to get into spoiler territory.
All in all a great film and wonderful sendoff the late great James Gandolfini
My Rating: 8.5/10