Tom Hardy has managed to become one of the most well-known actors working today, and he deserves every bit of praise and recognition he is receiving.
One excellent example of what makes him great is the 2014 film “The Drop.”
In “The Drop,” we are introduced at the very beginning of the film to the concept of a drop bar. Which essentially is a location where organized crime stash money on a given night, only to later retrieve it as it can be hard to move illegally acquired money immediately after transactions have been made.
For Tom Hardy’s character Bob Saginowski and his cousin Marv, played by James Gandolfini in one of his last roles, this is a fact of life.
Bob is a regular, everyday bartender that has worked for his cousin since he was a kid. He doesn’t talk too much and, for this, people continually underestimate him, not that he minds though as Bob enjoys peace and calm.
Marv on the other hand, is not content being under the thumb of the Chechen mob who moved in and took over his neighborhood ten years before.
And so Marv stews and stews over the good ole days when he ran a loan sharking business and was himself the gangster of the town. But, much like the Monday morning quarterback exaggerating their abilities and saying they could play with the pro’s, Marv was not the kingpin he thought himself to be. And Bob is the only one willing to tell him this.
Early on, there is a robbery of Marv’s bar on the night they are the selected drop bar, and they lose the mob’s money to these thieves.
Shortly after this, Marv is revealed to have orchestrated the robbery himself because he wants to thumb his nose at the Chechen mob he thinks stole his thunder.
The film progresses, and we are confronted with many things, among them is the fact that Tom Hardy’s Bob clearly is more than meets the eye. Where everyone underestimates him, we the audience are clearly shown he knows more and is capable of much more than anyone can imagine, we just don’t know what exactly that is yet.
That is the exciting part of this film, not the internal struggle between Marv’s ego and Bob’s relaxed demeanor, not the robbery Marv had on his own bar, rather it is Bob and our waiting for him to show what he’s capable of.
All while we wait, Bob begins dating a woman named Nadia, raises a dog with her and talks with her about her prior experiences with her abusive ex-boyfriend Eric Deeds.
Eventually Eric shows up in town, even working with cousin Marv on the next heist, as well as threatening Bob, Nadia and their dog.
This is where we see Bob reveal what lies beneath, when pressed into a corner, Bob shows that he can remain calm and composed but also possesses an ability to expertly dispatch people that pose a threat to him. By any means necessary.
That’s what’s so exciting about the film, watching Tom Hardy work through this meager character in Bob Saginowski, a man who we at first think nothing of, but by the end of the film realize is capable of so much more than anyone would ever expect.
Much like the character of Bob, “The Drop” is a movie you don’t really hear about, but when you do pay it the attention it deserves, you realize just how much more lies within it than what was originally thought from a cursory glance.
Grant Mitchell is a junior majoring in public relations. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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