Monday, March 2, 2015

Indie Review: The Drop (2014)

     A Tense Thriller Worth 'Dropping' In Your DVD Player
      Just as an early heads-up, I did like this movie. But, I would also like to point out how with his work in this and Locke, Tom Hardy continues to prove how sadly underappreciated he is in the industry.

             The Drop follows the story of a bartender named Bob (Tom Hardy) who, along with his cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), runs a drop bar, where criminals can drop off their money they try to hide from the authorities. But one night, after the bar gets robbed, the investigation, along with the arrival of Bob's dog's original owner Eric (Matthias Schonaerts), force Bob's and Marv's past to unravel.

            I'll start off with the outstanding performances. Tom Hardy delivers a complete 180 from his performance in Locke, as a simple good-natured man with a glimpse of sad darkness hidden in his eyes and his dog used to complete his virtuous image. Since this is James Gandolfini's last movie, he certainly went out on a high note as Marv, who seems like your neighborhood buddy, but knows a little more about the robbery than he lets on. Noomi Rapace, aka Lisbeth from the original Dragon Tattoo trilogy, also shines as Bob's spirited love interest Nadia who, despite being sort of a victim, never plays the victim or feels sorry for herself. Another shining star is Matthias Schonaerts, who gives a performance reminiscent of John Cazale in the first two Godfather films as Eric, a rather calculating yet bumbling psychopath. All four actors deliver such round and complex performances that make their characters rather fascinating to watch.

           Since the two main characters are depicted as putting on a facade, to me, that is one of the themes that the film delves into. The themes of looking past the surface, greed, power, redemption, and even sin are woven into the story as there is one character, a detective, who asks Bob why he never takes communion, but through narration, Bob reveals that he has caused one too many sins and can't be forgiven despite him continuously going to church. Plus, the scenes of Bob holding his dog help create the irony of him looking wholesome despite Bob himself feeling he is otherwise.


        Overall, The Drop is a deep and poignant character study that is also an intense yet subtle thriller. The performances all-around is fantastic, the writing is smart and packed with thematic material, and the suspense is slow-burning yet in the end, packs a big punch.

        Would I Recommend It?:
        Absolutely. I would especially recommend it to Tom Hardy fans.

Grade: A