Drops of God
Camille (Fleur Geffrier) has a complicated relationship with alcohol. Linked to traumatic sensory memories, her body outright rejects everything even remotely connected to her estranged father, oenologist Alexandre Léger (Stanley Weber). As such, odds seem stacked against her, when she learns that in order to claim her inheritance, she must pass a wine tasting contest. Her adversary is Issei Tomine (Tomohisa Yamashita), an ambitious student of her late father’s, whom he refers to as a “spiritual son” in his will.
Screenwriter Quoc Dang Tran’s show is created after a manga series of the same name, with the action divided between France and Japan, and dialogue in French, Japanese, English and Italian. Confined to the limitations of an audio-visual medium, director Oded Ruskin finds impressively imaginative ways to convey the taste and smell that are such an essential element of the thematised world. The sound design in the first episodes is targeted and precise in its minimalism: every little reverberation, every clink on a glass piques the viewer’s attention. Paired with the clean cinematography that perfectly plays into Apple TV+’s signature look, Drops of God presents a solid first impression of a tense drama about a cut-throat business.
The complexity bestowed on each and every character is what will draw in those not even the least bit interested in wine. Even in death, the obscure yet dominant father figure is preserved through memories both good and bad, propelling the eternal question about the separation of art and artist: will a person’s legacy be that of genius or how they treated the people around them?
As pointed as the drama of the wine contest is, there is always the feeling that one is watching real people. As soon as the viewer is familiar with the stakes for Camille and Issei respectively, they can’t help but root for them both.
Tomohisa Yamashita – who is not only famous in Japan for his acting but also his music – will easily be able to expand his fanbase with his enigmatic portrayal. For Geffrier, it’s a career-defining performance carrying all the Dionysian nuances family dynamics naturally carry in their wake.
Drops of God is released on Apple TV+ on 21st April 2023.
Watch the trailer for Drops of God here: