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Home > The Drop (2022): A Review

The Drop (2022): A Review

The Drop

A Dropped Baby Leads To A Whole World Of Problems

 

A dropped baby leads to an island wreck – erm, wedding – filled with millennials trying so hard to be open-minded, but their cringy behavior only leads to strained relationships and bursts of emotion. Writer-Director Sarah Adina Smith works with stars Anna Konkle and Jermaine Fowler (characters Lex and Mani, respectfully) to create this creepily accurate portrayal of how being too woke can lead to disaster. Produced by Duplass Brothers Productions, Everything Is Everything, Perception Media, and Tango Entertainment (II).

The Main Couple’s Arc Is Lovely, But The Middle Is Missing

The film begins with married couple Lex and Mani trying to conceive before they travel to a friend’s wedding, but soon after, one of them drops their friend’s baby. This results in doubts in their relationship and causes a ripple effect on the wedding guests, allowing such a simple point of attack in the film to be so effective. Even though the child is quickly perceived to be fine, no one’s relationship is safe. The main storyline, which follows Lex and Mani’s connection, is by far the most interesting, so it is a shame to see them barely progress throughout most of the film.

Because this feature took the approach to depict everyone as woke millennials, the characters are either horrifyingly fake and act ok with everything, or they quietly burst out at each other. It is funny, crazy, and scarily realistic. However, it affects the characters from changing. It also makes the relationships feel really stagnant, resulting in fights that barely have any tension since the audience becomes desensitized to them. It is important to note that nearly all of these fights sound like calm, business-meeting confrontations, adding to the sluggishness. 

Many entire scenes are based around these dull fights. Yes, they are hilariously commenting on some of society’s ridiculous wokeness; however, the scenes do not propel the story forward. This causes the pacing to feel quite slow like the plot is a tire stuck in the mud. Inevitably, it can make audiences question what the movie is about. Then, suddenly, at the backend of the third act, the pacing is quickened, and the fate of Lex and Mani’s relationship is sorted out and revealed, allowing the movie to end satisfyingly. If some of the inert fighting scenes had been cut and this part of the third act had been lengthened, the film would have probably been more well-paced. 

Believable Portrayals Of Overly-woke Millennials, But At What Cost?

Konkle’s portrayal of Lex is like a grown-up version of her character Anna in PEN15. What is unfortunate, though, is that her character’s voice was very much just like everyone else’s. This is certainly caused partially by the “woke tone” everyone was using; however, seeing Fowler’s portrayal of Mani shows that there could have been more distinct voices. Mani was often more or less the one who would make people stop talking about uncomfortable topics because everyone else thought they were “open-minded” conversations. Perhaps this was done on purpose so there is a clear divide between how a protagonist thinks and the secondary characters, allowing the extremes of wokeness to shine through. However, it hurt the pacing of the scenes since everyone was in a relatively monotonous state. This made the acting believable since people often try to be nice and progressive, giving way to the portrayal of mild annoyance. Nonetheless, since every character was like that, it became too obviously repetitive. 

Despite lacking a range of tone, the wokeness was portrayed and poked fun at very well. Even other characters know how “hip” and “cultural” the wedding guests like to be. So when the guests arrived at their hotel, the Hispanic staff said, “Play the white people’s music,” and then the musicians started playing “LA Cucaracha.” It was minor characters like these who finally offered something a little different. If only the main ensemble cast had more contrasting voices. Regardless, the intention of the characters and their voices were clear. While the actors portray them well to serve the story’s message, it does not allow audiences to be intrigued by unique characters since they all have similar voices.

The Drop

Island Vibes With People Who Are Obsessed With Vibes 

The cinematography was truly great. The various ways the camera captured characters interacting with the island was gorgeous. The camera angles also greatly helped the jokes to run smoothly, and some of them are the reason the joke even exists because there would be juxtaposing viewpoints or point-of-views in one shot. What is really admirable is that despite so many of the scenes being outdoors, and the ones indoors showing lots of windows, the lighting is consistent and spot-on with the time of day. It is not just day and night but pre-sunset, sunset, after-sunset, dawn, etc. What can also be appreciated is the amount of light in the nighttime scenes. Often, features with scenes in the middle of the night have it so dark that even when viewing the movie in a dark room, it’s difficult to make out what’s going on. However, this film brought lots of light and even color into the nighttime scenes. 

An interesting choice that takes some time to figure out is the birds-eye-view shots of the ocean from above that went along with some heart-racing, concerning, and quick-paced classical music. The shot(s) occur a few times in the movie, and it is often used as a transition in time or from one couple to the next. At first, it does not seem to fit well with the film since the scenes before and after it are relatively calm. However, as the audience realizes that the movie is very character-driven and about failing relationships, it makes sense why the music and choppy shots of the ocean appear throughout.

Watch At Home While Doing Chores

As there is not much of a plot to follow, The Drop is a great movie to glance at while doing chores. What is sad is that viewers will not be able to take in all of the island’s beautiful scenery this way; however, it is honestly not worth it to give one’s undivided attention to the feature. Sit down for the beginning and the very end, for sure. Otherwise, the large part of the middle of the film is so filled with regular, although decently funny, conversation that does not usually drive the plot forward. Viewers won’t double over laughing, either, but they will definitely chuckle at the relatability of the annoying “wokeness.” The Drop is streaming now on Hulu and is recommended for woke people who are socially conscious and want to laugh at those who overdo it. 

 

The Drop

The Drop (2022). Official Hulu trailer.

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Author

Sarah Anna Jonas
Sarah Anna Jonas is a current Writing for Screen & Television BFA at the University of Southern California. She hopes to pursue a career in screenwriting and development for television and film. Her goal is to bring more authentic, diverse stories to the screen in order to inspire social change.