The Drop DVD Review

DVD Review by Jon E Clist
The Drop
The Premise
Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living - no matter the cost.
The Review
James Gandolfini has had a rather illustrious acting career. From the moment that he dove head first onto our screens in HBO’s extremely compelling The Sopranos. He was a big menacing brute who suffered from severe anxiety and he owned that role so very completely. This is an actor who will be missed immensely since his sudden passing this year. It has certainly been one of those years where great supporting actors have passed away during the filming of some great roles. The Drop is officially Gandolfini’s final film role to be released. As with the majority of his cinematic career, Gandolfini plays a strong supporting character here. A role that certainly helps to give the main characters a strong foundation within the story in order to help connect you with their plight.

Then there is the wonderfully adept Noomi Raplace. Raplace has a great ability to play diverse and multi-layered characters that carry with them a huge amount of baggage. When we look back to her breakout role of Lisbeth in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, she has certainly brought a solid depth to these intriguing characters.

This is by far Tom Hardy’s film and the general success of the film sits firmly in his hands. He plays the role to perfection. Throughout the story his character is revealed in stages like the peeling back of an onion, if that onion was some weird hybrid vegetable that was quite different on each layer. I really enjoyed the aspect that in The Drop, not everything is as it would seem and while the plot has plenty of subtle twists and turns, so too do the characters.

The story flows and a really nice medium pace that gives plenty of time to develop the characters and plot, while drawing you into all the elements of the film. Add to that the location of Brooklyn New York and you have a lovely gritty story dealing with organised crime spillage on to normal everyday people and the affects it has.

The film is based on the short story "Animal Rescue" by Dennis Lehane, from the collection Boston Noir. Originally, the film’s title was to mirror the short story "Animal Rescue", however the filmmakers decided that it needed a title that covered more of the story rather than just one aspect of the plot and hence becoming "The Drop" in January 2014. This is where I think the film works brilliantly. One of the core supporting characters in the film is Rocco, who is a beautiful little chocolate coloured puppy, whose introduction into the story creates the catalyst for the coming together of the majority of the characters, while also endearing the audience to the lead character of Bob. Of course putting a little puppy into the hands of a tough man is going to add a lot of softness to the role and certainly create a nice warmness to his character. Three dogs were used for the role of Rocco, in order to keep them a consistent size during filming. I think for me the central element of the puppy is what takes this film from an average story to something rather special. Not because animals are cute, but more that Lehane has used this dog extremely well within the story to link everything together.

Considering that this is Michaël R. Roskam's English-language directorial debut, he has done a great job creating an authentic New York styled story.

The Verdict
The Drop is a lovely delicate blend of thriller, action and drama that really drew me into the characters and was certainly entertaining to watch. It was anything but predictable and yet the plot twists were not so over the top as to take over the focus. Well worth the watch!
The Trailer
The Info
DVD Releases: 15th April 2015
Rating: R13 – Contains violence and offensive language
Duration: 106 minutes
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini
Director: Michaël R. Roskam (Bullhead)
The Extras
The film is set in Brooklyn, New York and with American characters, but 3 of the 4 main actors are Europeans. Tom Hardy is British, Noomi Rapace is Swedish and Matthias Schoenaerts is Belgian. James Gandolfini is the only American among them.
Third film collaboration between director Michaël R. Roskam and actor Matthias Schoenaerts, the previous were The One Thing to Do (2005) and Bullhead (2011).
While shooting the movie, Matthias Schoenaerts gave Noomi Rapace the script of Alive Alone (2014), a film in which they were supposed to play a couple, but Schoenaerts dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.