Earlier this year the film “Locke” exploded on the screen; Tom Hardy, the tragic protagonist, is monumentally overwhelming as the unfortunate, but accountable “Ivan Locke’; an isolated, solitary tour de force, rarely seen by movie- goers. Hardy’s scope as an actor has yet to be realized; but once again he excavates his treasure-trove of talent and blesses audiences with “Bob”, a bartender who services the thirst of mob-connected customers; the bar, “the drop” for eventual laundering of financial spoils, garnished from untoward enterprises. Hardy’s genius imbues the intransigent employee with subtle attributes of an idiot savant, living attuned to his unorthodox moral compass, resonating with incomparable dynamic force.
Bob’s debt-plagued cousin “Marv” (the final script for James Gandolfini) has been neutered, robbed of his namesake/ownership of “Cousin Marv’s” by ruthless Chechen mobsters; an underlying gruesomeness sizzles throughout the film. But the nucleus is annexed by Bob; he is a literalist, a loner but beneath his reticence slumbers a seething, smoldering wick, ignited only when his righteousness is challenged. His gentler side comes to the rescue of an abused pit bull puppy and “Nadia” (sensitively portrayed by Noomi Rapace); in this instance “love is strange”.
“The Drop” derived from Dennis Lehane’s short story “Animal Rescue” is enhanced by Lehane’s grasp of bleak, smutty hidden hollows, dirty city haunts, dens for the disenfranchised, outcasts; eeriness, subterfuge, creepiness balanced perfectly by Lehane’s knowledge and use of the blackness, direness of the human condition.
The ultimate power in “The Drop” rests in Tom Hardy’s inimitable grasp of the inner mechanisms of mysterious, enigmatic Bob.
THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!