Cert: 15 / 83 mins / Dir. Steven Knight
I have no idea how this film ever got past the pitch meeting. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it did, but someone on the far side of the desk must have asked "…and it's all in the car? And he's alone? For all of it?" Fair play to Steven Knight though, Locke is a triumph of writing, acting and direction. Hardy's performance is absolutely outstanding, and evidence that he's one of the greatest actors of our generation when he gets a role which allows him to show it*1.
So the film covers a car journey, where Locke has near constant phone conversations with people representing the different facets of his family and professional life. The threads which make up his existence are unravelled gradually enough to tease, but still at a rate which allows the audience to catch up and follow the story. Because we hear both sides of all the phone calls, the screenplay doesn't have to rely on Hardy expositing everything, and Knight's supporting voice-cast are also magnificent.
There aren't any huge reveals within the film, but I'd still recommend you see it without reading any spoilers or plot synopses, as watching the events unfurl in near real-time underlines how well Tom Hardy is handling the role. My only wish is that the film had been 20-30 minutes longer, so that we could have had more time and resolution with the 'back seat' thread, although the fact that the Knight's screenplay spins the rest of its plates so successfully in its relatively short screen-time is to be commended.
Intriguing and claustrophobic, telling us everything about its main character without simplifying him or casting judgement, Locke may not be a Saturday-Night-and-beers film, but it's definitely worthy of your attention.
I think so, yes.
As masterful as it is, you may not to see it more than once, so either cinema or rent.
Yes, but probably only once.
Did no-one in the production team question why Locke doesn't wear a seatbelt for the duration of the entire film?
*1 I'm looking at you, Bane.
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.