Review: The Drop
It’s hard to see where the innocence and winning appeal of Bob Saginowski ends and where it begins again in his newfound adopted pet, an abused pit bull puppy named Rocco.
Both help each other in The Drop¸ Michaël R. Roskam’s brilliant Brooklyn noir tale based on prolific author Dennis Lehane’s short story.. Tom Hardy is remarkable as the soft-spoken Bob, who may not in fact be so innocent, but professes in an opening monologue to not interfere in the criminal transactions that go on around him – he just tends the bar.
Cousin Marv’s is one such bar involved in ‘drops,’ the transferring of money among mobs and gangs in Brooklyn. Bob would prefer not to be involved while Marv (James Gandolfini, in his last role), clearly feels a bit insecure about an apparent lack of respect.
Late one night, Bob meets a distressed puppy in the garbage can of Nadia (Noomi Rapace), and together they work to take care of this animal while developing their own hopeful relationship each out of an abused past.
Meanwhile Marv’s doings dabble in the dangerous and deadly, and Nadia’s unstable ex-boyfriend (Matthias Schoenaerts) seeks to enter back into her picture, all of which threaten Bob’s new, more outgoing and honest existence.
The dark and tense story intimately unfolds; it’s a crime thriller of sorts, but triumphs as an intimate portrait of a group of fully fleshed out characters looking to better their lives, sometimes foolishly, and with welcome bit of humor. Meanwhile, two detectives work to stop these drops, solve the disappearance of a bar regular, and address the appearance of some ominous Chechen players.
It’s an aggravating tale, powerfully realized by a talented cast and driven by taut storytelling that creeps to a staggering conclusion. The threat of anything happen to Hardy and that dog is terrifying enough.