WRITTEN BY: Dennis Lehane
DIRECTED BY: Michael R. Roskam
STARRING: Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini, Noomi Rapace, Matthias Schoenaerts
RATING: 3.5 stars
The Drop is a fitting final film for James Gandolfini. Linking an animal rescue story to mobsters may seem odd, but it works wonderfully. Dennis Lehane has adapted his own short story, Animal Shelter, for the screen and director Michael R. Roskam does a great job of slowly revealing the intricate details of the tale. The Drop is definitely an unconventional gangster film with a few twists along the way before a surprising climax.
Bob (Tom Hardy) works at a bar with his cousin Marv (Gandolfini) in a neighbourhood that is run by gangsters. Money is exchanged at night with a different location chosen to be the drop point. One night, Bob and Marv are caught up in a robbery and they lose money belonging to a Chechan crime boss. They must figure out who stole the money and return it, or risk further retaliation from the mob.
Hardy is powerful and engaging in this role as a quietly spoken and gentle man who is also bizarrely calm and comfortable with violence. It is not an easy feat and it shows Hardy's strength as an actor. Gandolfini plays an ageing man who has been dealt a tough set of cards in life. His character is layered and it great to see his last role pack so much punch. Noomi Rapace plays Nadia, who seems to attract trouble but has a soft side depicted in the sub-plot about an abandoned puppy that Bob finds in her bin. She and Hardy make a good on-screen pair. Matthias Schoenaerts is also impressive in a villainous role with substance.
The Drop is unique and that is not something you often get in a mobster film.