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The Drop
Genre Crime

The Drop is a slow-boiling, character driven Brooklyn crime drama based on Dennis Lehane's short story, Animal Rescue, about a Brooklyn bartender, who finds himself entwined in an investigation after a robbery gone awry. It's quite surprising that this is Lehane's first feature film screenplay when you consider his novels: Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone Baby Gone have all been adapted into great films.

Lehane's story is small and intimate in scale, immersing us in a close-knit Brooklyn neighbourhood of friends and foes, where bars are used as drop-off points for illegal cash transfers. He's extrapolated his short story into a feature-length crime drama turned character portrait about gentle, simple bartender, Bob Saginowksi, played by Tom Hardy.

Tom Hardy is excellent as Bob Saginowski - delivering a blend of Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump and Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront. His nuanced and thoughtful performance embodies the spirit of The Drop as Belgian director Michaël R. Roskam brings a similar tension and intensity to his previous film, Bullhead.

You'd expect The Drop to fall in-line with a number of similar NY gang-related crime dramas, however this is a slow-burning drama that gets by without quick pacing and explosive action set pieces. It's the sort of drama that creeps up on you, catching you off-guard with surprising character-defining moments.

Tom Hardy's performance is The Drop's backbone, which is fleshed out by a strong supporting cast and solid performances. The late James Gandolfini brings his immense presence and New York essence, Noomi Rapace is a shadowy romantic interest and Roskam's lead from Bullhead, Matthias Schoenaerts, is a slimy drifter.

This is a smart, mature thinking man's crime drama, relying on great characters, fine performances, dense atmosphere and taut direction. Instead of being thrown in the deep end, we're lured into a gritty community of grey areas, giving the complex characters space to glow brighter as a stifled investigation gets underway.

The bottom line: Subtle

8.00/10 ( 1 Vote )
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