Locke ReviewLocke Review
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Locke Review

Puzzling, ingenious and captivating. Tom Hardy delivers a perfect portrait of one man’s chaotic life.

A devastating and emotional car journey is had by all when witnessing Steven Knight’s latest feature, Locke. A bearded Tom Hardy is at the heart of this screenplay and in fact the only face you will see on screen. In all of the 85 minutes of this phone call-fuelled narrative, we get to witness just how good of an actor Hardy really is. This isn’t a tough man role and it certainly isn’t putting on a mask and playing with Batman. This is the real world and this is Ivan Locke’s hectic life. Slowly everything immediate to Ivan dies a death, but the life given to his ‘one mistake’ child shines through as the credits roll.

Hardy plays Locke, a construction site manager who decides to make a major decision on his way home that will have a domino effect on virtually every aspect of his current life. After walking out on one of the biggest concrete pours in Europe, Locke heads to see a woman (who isn’t his wife) who has gone into labour, and well the baby – it’s his. With every gear change we are then taken on one hell of a journey as Locke deals with this situation in every way possible. The most captivating aspect of this road trip are the constant calls he receives. Every time the phone rings you are on the edge of your seat waiting in anticipation to hear whose voice you are going to hear. Is it bad or good news? Is it a happy phone call or an angry one? And this is where Knight’s incredible script writing shines through. He has created perfect harmony between all the characters involved with Locke during this time and never dwells excessively on just one thing.

Many have disliked the fact that Locke interacts with the invisible ghost of his late father, however, if anyone was in his situation, you would probably have an outbreak of madness and at the very least start talking to yourself. The film’s edit compliments the nature of the narrative, with smooth fades and dissolves alongside the odd quick cut to match which person he is dealing with down the phone. Despite getting things thrown at him left, right and centre, Hardy’s persona remains calm and calculated with only a few momentary lapses of anger. Locke has made the decision not to go home and he has to deal with the consequences. Locke is the love child of Buried, Phone Booth and Cosmopolis. In fact, take all the good points from each, put them all in a BMW and you get Locke. 85 minutes of Tom Hardy in a car might be a bit much for some audience members, albeit the point of this film is so much more than the space it is set. Steven Knight already has a pretty outstanding track record when it comes to screenplays having produced such titles such as Dirty, Pretty Things (2002) and Eastern Promises (2007) and Locke certainly does not disappoint. 

This film is truly unique. The camera, the lighting, the setting all add up to something quite spectacular that will capture your full attention. This is one chaotic car cocktail, that is both engrossing and compelling. Knight and Hardy will blow your minds so fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride. 

Locke is released in cinemas Friday April 18th, 2014.