Locke (2013) Directed by Steven Knight. With Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman and Ruth Wilson.
Set almost entirely in the confined space of a luxurious BMW car, Locke is the story of one man’s eventful late night drive to London, balancing all manner of life changing events as he struggles to keep his eyes on the road ahead.
Tom Hardy is the titular ‘Locke’, a construction manager and family man, whose responsibilities begin to overlap, forcing him to make some difficult decisions. The repercussions of those decisions are played out via a series of phone calls, which make up the narrative of this interesting and absorbing drama.
Without a physical acting partner for the entirety of the film, Hardy is excellent; switching from one extreme of emotion to another as various parts of his life come crashing down upon him. Director Steven Knight ensures the camera barely strays from Hardy’s anxious features, prompting the audience to feel every emotional blow. In a way, his emotions are like gear changes, as he’s regularly forced to adapt himself instantly from one crisis to the next.
Aside from Hardy’s involving performance, the idea of a film running for the entire duration of a drive along the motorway is a well executed. Not only does it afford a sense of individuality, it also concentrates the drama allowing us to play ‘fly on the wall’ as we judge and decide how we feel about the character, imagining how the events transpire on the other end of the phone. A road movie with a difference then. Who says men can’t multi-task!? 4/5