Locke, directed by Steven Knight, tells the story of a troubled everyman, Ivan Locke (played by Tom Hardy), as he takes the audience through a deeply personal ordeal spanning the length of the film. The entirety of the film takes place inside a moving BMW SUV as Locke travels from southern England to London. Along the way he tries to sort through his personal and professional life via a number of cell phone conversations.
The film encompasses 4 different story lines each representing a different facet of Locke’s life. On one hand his personal life is depicted through his dire conversations with his wife explaining his adulterous behavior and with his mistress, guiding her through the birth of his child. On the other hand, his professional life is depicted through his anxious conversations with his superior as he learns he has been fired while simultaneously trying to guide his junior to the completion of a crucial project. A final story line involved his mental conversations with his estranged father who had caused Locke a great deal of anguish.
Hardy delivers a very strong performance as a deeply troubled man who is torn from within. He takes the audience on a sympathetic emotional journey as various facets of his crumbling life are explored. The cinematography was impeccable because it made the audience feel as if they were in the backseat with Locke. The combination of the performance by Hardy and the cinematography made Ivan Locke a very relatable character for the audience. The greatest appeal for this film was its realism. Every aspect of the film felt very real from Locke’s everyman life to the long lonely journey in his SUV which millions of people partake every day.
While not necessarily a blockbuster film, Locke offers a very unique approach to filmmaking in which the entire film is shot in a single car. Despite the fact that it would be more suited for a radio show than the big screen, Knight delivered a very deep and creative product. Ultimately the film offers an insight into the human condition and is an exercise in thought more than chartbusting entertainment.
(Review written by: Abdullah Mir)