Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Coleman, Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson, Tom Holland, Bill Milner, Ben Daniels
Directed by: Steven Knightlocke
Synopsis: Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his careful cultivated existence.
Locke is the latest addition to a speight of movies that feature one, or maybe two actors on screen for the entire movie. There has been Moon, Life of Pi, Gravity and All is Lost to name but a few recent ones. Locke is up there with the best of them.
Tom Hardy follows the likes of Sam Rockwell, Sandra Bullock and Robert Redford in commanding your attention for ninety minutes and, as you would expect from someone of Hardy’s calibre, he does a great job. From a simple plot, the film really creates a sense of anxiety that equals some of the other films mentioned. Considering it’s essentially Hardy sat in a car on his phone, that’s pretty impressive!
Hardy plays construction worker Ivan Locke. The night before a huge construction job for a big American company Locke heads off in his car, destination unknown. It becomes apparent, through several phone calls to various friends, family and loved ones, where Locke is headed and why. It’s a pretty simple plot as I said, but it’s the way the tension mounts as things start getting to Locke, and the way he reacts to them.
Hardy plays the role, wisely or not, as a Welshman. I guess he didn’t really need to, it doesn’t have any bearing on the story particularly. Some have said that he sounds a bit like Richard Burton, but I thought on occasion he sounded more like Uncle Bryn played by Rob Brydon in TV’s Gavin and Stacy. Accent aside, Hardy is fantastic as the under-pressure but always calm and methodical titular character. I’d say he steals the show, but there isn’t anyone else in the film, so I guess he had to!
Purely for the bare bones nature of the film, it clearly won’t be for everyone, but I can’t express enough that despite it’s simple concept, it is equally as anxiety inducing as many thrillers and although there is no huge payoff by the end, you’re still never too sure which way it’s all going to go.
Kudos to the film maker, Steven Knight, for making a film about a man in a car one of the films of the year.