Sunday, September 21, 2014

"The Drop": Is this how the world of bars really works?

The Drop,” by Michael R. Roskam, starts with a reflection of the Brooklyn Bridge in a pool.  I wondered if BargeMusic was nearby.  But soon we’re into the bowels of the underworld, a smaller reflection of “godfather”.  It seems that tainted money is laundered by “drop bars” in Brooklyn, that are then “protected” by the mob.  In the early 1970s, in fact, it had been popular to believe that all gay bars were “Mafia bars”.   The film is based on a short story (and novella) called “Animal Rescue” by Dennis Lehane.
The heart of the story is generated when an attractive but lonely bartender Bob (Tom Hardy) finds a wounded bulldog puppy in a trashcan, next to a brownstone home owned by Nadia (Noomi Rapace).  He nurses the dog to health and adopts the animal as his own.  It seems to be an odd Mafia trick.  Soon his bar is held up, and an elaborate story involving the protection racquet and Bob’s older cousin Marv (James Gandolfini, in the last film before his passing).  There is a dashing but manipulative young Chechnian mobster Eric (Matthias Schoenaerts, from Belgium). 
Some of the plot seems to concern illegal bookmaking on the Super Bowl played in February 2014 in Met Life Stadium in New Jersey, where the Seattle Sea Hawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 (Love that two-point conversion). 
Is this really the work of bars now?
The official site is here (Fox Searchlight).  I saw the film before an ample Sunday night crowd at Angelika Mosaic in Fairfax Va.  

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