A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
A film such as 2014’s “The Drop” seems fitting for the likes of James Gandolfini, who tragically passed away this year, meaning his works in said film were sadly his last.
With the focus on broodiness and uncertainty within the crime-riddled world of Brooklyn, “The Drop” has a specific tone that doesn’t shift much, making for some engaging viewing with not much substance coming out of it; at least not as regularly as one could have hoped for.
“The Drop” stars Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace and centres around a ‘drop bar’; an allocated bar in which all dirty money is stored until collected. Cousin Marv’s bar, once owned owned by Gandolfini’s Marv, is the focal point after a robbery which leaves some crooks pretty cranky the following day.
As the plot unfolds however, and certain decisions from certain characters begin to escalate, “The Drop” becomes quite an excitable ride, but ultimately proves unfulfilling.
There are many layers to “The Drop” which simultaneously is a very localised picture. Down to earth and gritty in nature, “The Drop” plays a lot on character relationships and the depth of each individual very well. Bob (Hardy), the key character, is a difficult one to read. Shy, slightly slow and overly deadpan, Bob’s arc throughout the picture is one that is great to watch.
With the inclusion of a heart-breaking subplot involving a puppy that possesses some symbolic traits, the narratives within “The Drop” cover a lot of ground, even though the story itself doesn’t leave the neighbourhood.
For crime drama, “The Drop” is a small scale picture that could require a re-watch. With certain mobster films, knowing the way things turn out and watching them over again can reveal certain hidden gems in the craftsmanship, foreshadowing and of course the overall perspective of the film.
On a side note, there is a certain scene within “The Drop” that sees two characters on the phone to one another but not saying anything. This tense, silent and nervous phone call is straight out of “The Departed” which is itself, taken from 2002’s “Infernal Affairs”.
The difference between “The Departed” and “Infernal Affairs” is the lack of music. Silence appears to have more of an impact in this scene, and the way in which “The Drop” utilises it works exceptionally well.
So it’s not the first time we’ve seen such a moment, but nothing is really original nowadays; it’s all about how you use the moment to it’s advantage. “The Drop” certainly does in this case.
One thing “The Drop” has going for it is it’s cinematography. Some of the shots captured in and around the gloomy, seedy evening streets are stunningly moody and great to see. The opening shot is a brilliant example of what to expect for the remainder of the piece as far as style is concerned.
There is also an excellent succession of shots that utilise the vertical 360 shot and execrate the film’s rhythm very well. The camerawork in “The Drop” is arguably the highpoint of the film overall.
A film that adores it’s stars, “The Drop” is a multi-layered, unpredictable crime drama that has a strong sense of direction. As a solid, well planned out narrative on paper, it is plausible, whilst the performances all round are superb.
It’s just the overall execution of narrative structure to the screen and lack of any suspense that lets the film down.
With the correct tweaks and alterations put in place, I truly believe this could have been one of the year’s best films, but sadly, it’s nothing special which is a great shame.
It has it’s strengths though, it just drops the ball on many occasions.