The Drop (2014): A Review of Sorts
I've not been out this week. Mainly to do with rain - it's been torrential in the UK, and I jest not when I say the garden is like a rainforest - but also because I've felt a bit withdrawn; anxiety playing round the edges, and my brain being a bit off kilter. C'est cool. My writing has kept me busy, I passed the 55K mark the other day on the WIP, and, when I've not been writing, I've been watching. Films mainly. Favourites that are easy to watch and don't tax my brain - I know them off by heart, so when my brain wanders off and then later returns I can still follow the film, but also some new ones that I've not seen before. But it's one of the new ones (for me) that I want to talk about.
Now I know it's not new. Indeed, 2014 makes it quite old now, but it's new to me, and I thought it was wonderful. From the cinematography, a bleak Brooklyn setting, casting, dialogue, beautiful writing, characters, and a clever interplay of storylines, everything was perfect. I try to never give too much away in reviews because I think that's most unfair, but I mistakenly thought I was about to watch a gangster movie - another one out of a mould of many. Sure, crime plays an important role, but the story itself is character driven, and every character and setting close to the solitary, daily life of a socially awkward, possibly simple, Brooklyn bartender - Bob Saginowski - (played by Tom Hardy) - is important. This includes everyone - the dog, his love interest, her ex, his cousins, the detective, church, men at the bar, an old lady he buys drinks for - because it builds up the sensitivity of the character against the backdrop of a cruel and violent world within which the bar he works at operates. His is a lonely life, gentle and unassuming, one as follows a routine within which he seems able to function. It also serves to heighten a dramatic turn of which I will say nothing. You'll have to watch to see that...
The Drop is also notable for being the final film role of James Gandolfini, and that too is a reason to watch. In this he plays the self-centered bar owner, 'Cousin Marv', a man whose greed trumps all; a brilliant foil to Tom Hardy's 'Bob'. But so too are there other characters whose involvement and dialogue within the story is wonderful - for me it was Noomi Rapace as Nadia Dunn, Matthias Schoenaerts as Eric Deeds, and John Ortiz as Detective Evandro Torres - who had me mesmerised with their performances.
At the moment - in the UK - you can watch 'The Drop' on Amazon Prime, and I would highly recommend it. A very easy 5 stars for me.
Can I give more?
I would, but it's out of 5...