Tuesday, April 7, 2015
"The Drop" starring Tom Hardy
I watch movies with a writer's eye. I want the elements I adore in fiction to be just as powerful on film. I want the characters to be believable - real. I want the setting to make sense. I want the plot to move and carry me along with it. I want the conflict to be credible. And I want the themes to linger - I want to walk away still thinking about what I just saw and experienced.
That is what happened to me when I watched "The Drop" starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini. Bob, the main character, was easy to connect to and I wanted to find out his story - the one he was in, and the one he was from. And it takes place in a city neighborhood, residents bonded together by making a living and keeping head above water. All relatable and quite interesting.
But the conflict? Fantastic! An inept young man, living his parents old house, works at his cousin's bar, now a drop location for criminal money. He finds a wounded dog and with the help of the lovely, but secretive young woman, nurses the dog back to health. Weaving throughout this story is, of course, "the drop", a man from the woman's past, and Bob's mysterious secrets. It is constantly moving forward at an exciting pace. The tense and active scenes are well-balanced with scenes that develop the characters and the plot.
And I could not stop thinking about this film.
So I decided to read the short story on which the screenplay was based: "Animal Rescue". Both were written by Dennis Lehane, who also write "Mystic River". His latest novel is World Gone By.
And I must say, I preferred the film to the short story. I rarely do, but this time, what I loved about the movie was not in the story. The film's suspense, curiosity, and thrills were nowhere found in the short story. It explained the plot and detailed the conflict, but in the film, things were not linear and they were not so obvious. What we know about Bob in the short story's beginning becomes the twist that seals the deal in the film.
I was disappointed by the short story.
I was very impressed with the film.
I walked away thinking about love, trust, honor. I had a lot of "what would I do if it were me?" moments. And I am still considering. Do I agree with choices made? Disagree? Understand? Did I really just cheer for that?
I highly recommend this film. Check it out on IMDb first. There is violence and language and a few references to sexuality.