Who knew that blue-eyed, grey Pitbull puppy Rocco would be the scene stealer in Michaël R. Roskam’ The Drop? Tom Hardy probably did.
Based on screenwriter Dennis Lehane’s short story Animal Rescue, The Drop features meek bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) working at Cousin Marv’s, a neighbourhood bar working as a “drop bar” for criminals. Together with Marv (James Gandolfini, in his last role), Bob operates the bar under seemingly honourable circumstance. The crime drama ultimately picks up due to the a robbery at the bar, sparking a series of events that lead thrilling plot twist that compels the notion of underestimating the complexity of characters.
An interesting feature of the film was the intensely, dramatic storyline of the crime world of Brooklyn. Adapting from his own source material, Lehane creates a harsh environment for the low-lifes and criminals in this mob mentality. Amongst this year’s crime-drama genre, with its tensely, downtempo atmosphere, The Drop certainly a stand out.
It was hard to determine which performance was more outstanding – the Pitbull puppy or Tom Hardy. By a close margin, Hardy’s performance was an incredible standout. As the reserved, soft-spoken Bob, Hardy expresses a powerful performance that demands attention. His portrayal of a character that exemplifies a docile personality is completely altered by his tenacious, aggressive actions. Hardy concocts a superb mixture of intensity and vulnerability – partly due to his unplanned adoption of a dispossessed puppy, Rocco. Together, Hardy and Rocco make quite the duo; showing the love and compassionate relationship between each other, amongst the violence of their surroundings.
Unfortunately, the ultimate downfall of the film was the slow progression of the film. While this does create tension for the ultimate conclusion, viewers can get bored of the development and may lose interest. However, paying attention to the steady movement of the scenes can prepare the audience for the powerful effect of the ending.
The Drop proved to be a solid crime drama with exceptional performances by Hardy and the cast, commending Gandolfini in his last feature role.
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