THE DROP is the very last film actor James Gandolfini made before his untimely death last year. And it's a good one.
The screenplay is by Dennis Lehane, the novelist who wrote MYSTIC RIVER.
THE DROP is a gritty, character driven crime thriller set in and around a neighborhood bar in Brooklyn.
And in addition to Gandolfini, it stars the great british actor, Tom Hardy whose one man performance in LOCKE was extraordinary.
(Bob's voice): In brooklyn, money changes hands all night long. And it's not the kind of money you can deposit in a bank...when all that money needs to end up somewhere, they call it a drop bar. We just hide the entire city's dirty money right in plain sight.
Tom Hardy is Bob Saginowski, a lonely bartender who ten years earlier was a partner in crime with his cousin, Marv, played by James Gandolfini. But times changed. Meaner, tougher Eastern European gangsters took over the scene and Marv no longer even owns the bar that he runs.
Now it's just an occasional drop for dirty money. R
obbers (to Marv and Bob in the bar): All your money right in the bag!
Marv: Do you know what you're doing? Do you know whose money your jackin'?
Robber: Fill the bag!
The stolen money belongs to the gangsters who now own the bar and they want it back ASAP.
Meanwhile, Bob rescues an injured pit bull puppy in a garbage can and meets Nadia, a waitress (played by Noomi Rapace) who's just as lonely as he is. She wonders if he's involved with the working class criminals in the neighborhood.
Nadia: You still in the life?
Bob: No. No. I just tend the bar.
And except for receiving money for the drop safe at his bar, he's telling her the truth. Bob accepts his position in life, but cousin Marv is bitter.
Marv: When I walked into a place, people sat up straight. They noticed. I was respected. I was feared. And that meant somethin'.
Bob knows something is very wrong when he discovers the money stolen from the bar inside a trash bag that also contains the severed arm of one of the robbers. It's right next to their garbage cans.
Bob: You need to see this, Marv.
Marv. No, I don't. I don't need to do anything. I'm just gonna stand right here.
Bob: Are you doin' somethin' desperate? Are you doin' somethin' we can't clean up this time?
THE DROP is far better than a typical crime thriller. it gives us fully human characters in a story that is both realistic and surprising. Plus, the acting and the cinematography are first rate.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org