Wednesday 24 December 2014

Locke (2013)

I review Locke, a film Steven Knight and starring Tom Hardy. It was released in 2013 and is currently available to buy on DVD. 

Tom Hardy is probably one of my favourite actors in film and television at the moment and I’ll watch him in pretty much anything. I loved his role in Season 2 of Peaky Blinders, (which Steven Knight also helms) and his movie roles in Inception, The Drop, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Dark Knight Rises have all been great. In fact, Hardy’s one of the few actors who I’ve never seen do a bad film. And as it happens, Locke might just be one of his best yet, with this being the closest you can get to a true one-man show.

Ivan Locke is the main character played by Tom Hardy in this film and the only character who we see on screen. He’s a good family man, having worked hard to build a life for himself. He’s got a job at a construction site and a big opportunity on the horizon. Until, that is, everything comes crashing down over the course of a single drive.

Locke is a very unique film. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like it. Not only does Hardy not get out of the car that he’s in during the film he’s, like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the only actor we see on screen. He’s racing from one destination to another as his whole life unravels before his eyes and whilst the prospect of spending eighty-five minutes in a car with just one person might not sound like the ideal way to spend an afternoon, Tom Hardy’s performance really sells the movie as we see him converse with other characters, such as his wife and kids, over the phone. The cast of actors who don’t actually appear on screen in the film at all is quite good – Andrew Scott (Sherlock’s Moriarty), Olivia Coleman (Hot Fuzz) are actors who I have had experience with in films/TV shows before and Ruth Wilson (Jayne Eyre) heads the list of those who haven’t. We get to see Locke interacting with the characters who these people are portraying very effectively and it’s something that never really should work as well as it has done here. The movie had the potential to be one of the most boring films of 2013, but thankfully, it really impressed and the result is that Locke is one of my favourite films of last year.

The writing and direction by Steven Knight really work. The film looks sleek and the focus on one single character and location as opposed to cutting to the various other conversations really adds weight to the movie and gives it a clear direction. It’s proof that films without a large cast massive budget and CGI can succeed, and if you give it a try, you won’t regret it. Hardy’s performance is incredibly sympathetic and you will find yourself getting behind the character and wanting him to pull everything off, which is vitally important in an unconventional film like this. You really feel like you’re going on a journey with Hardy’s character, and the soundtrack from Dickon Hinchcliff really adds weight to the movie as well.

I can imagine that a lot of people are wondering how Locke will be entertaining, but trust me when I say this, it somehow manages to emerge as one of the strongest thrillers that I’ve seen in a while. It’s captivating, unpredictable, and although not a gun is fired or a building blown up, you will be on the edge of your seats from the beginning to the end.

The film itself is a character driven movie that really works. Tom Hardy delivers one of his best performances yet and Locke is a movie that shouldn’t be as good as it turned out to be.  Unmissable.

VERDICT: 9.5/10

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