08 Aug Locke Review
Locke hits the acceleration. Hard.
Locke, a stirring drama from director Steven Knight, captures an unusually tumultuous moment in the life of hardworking family man, Ivan Locke. Our protagonist, played by Hollywood heavyweight Tom Hardy, has just gotten word from a former mistress that she is in labor with his child. Refusing to follow in his father’s footsteps and abandon his illegitimate child, he makes the drive from his worksite to the hospital, leaving behind a construction project that would have certainly been the most important of his career. What unfolds over the next hour and twenty minutes is a rare glimpse into the thoughts and actions of a man at the heart of a crisis of conscience.
Shot in one location and told entirely from the point of view of the title character, Locke is unique in its approach to character study. Hardy is, in fact, the only actor we see on screen; his co-workers, friends, and family members are only present in conversations heard through Locke’s Bluetooth speaker system. Hardy puts on a sort of one-man show for the viewer, reminiscent of a Shakespearean leading man. One could easily see this story transposed for the stage, with Locke’s elevated way of speaking and soliloquies to his phantom father. Hardy essentially IS the film and it’s a testament to his talent that he can carry the piece completely on his own. The skilled camera work, sharp editing, and use of light also helps the film from feeling claustrophobic, yet there are times when one can’t help but become distracted by the monotony of the narrative. Despite this, Hardy’s portrayal of Locke’s emotional arc proves to be more gripping than not, somehow turning something as dull as a concrete pour into a character revealing moment. Locke is unlike any film you will see this year and, in that respect, it more than deserves every accolade that has come its way.
Watch Locke now on FlixFling.
This guest blog was written by Colleen Shields.