Country: UK, USA
Director: Steven Knight
Writer: Steven Knight
Music: Dickon Hinchliffe
Cinematography: Haris Zambarloukos
This is Tom Hardy’s one-man-show, in a literary sense, the entire film is exclusively shot in a car while he is driving to London at night, and taking successive phone calls (thanks to the convenient Bluetooth technology) and trying to keep his life from tearing apart. And it is all because that he believes he is correcting his wrongs by making the right choice, even the risk is that he will lose everything he has, a well-paid job, a rosy career and a perfect family.
No one can deny this mini-budgeted indie fare has its winsome novelty in its daring structural frame, and totally banks on Hardy’s masculine charisma and empathetic performance to entrance audience in 85 minutes of conversing by phone without the aid of any bells and whistles.
A typical cinematic machination, against all odds, it is one night dramatically encapsulated all the important matters for the construction site foreman Ivan Locke (Hardy), tomorrow he is duly to supervise one of the largest concrete pouring in Europe, yet in this particular moment, a woman named Bethan (Colman) is delivering a baby at London, and Ivan is the father. So in a split-second change of mind, instead of driving home to enjoy a football match with his family, he decides to drive to London and take on his responsibility of his one-night-stand affair. While, he has to transfer the pouring to his less-competent college Donal (Scott) who has a drinking problem (with ciders), face the blame from his boss Gareth (Daniels), who is referred as the bastard, in the name list of the phone, meanwhile he also has to come clean to his unwitting wife Katrina (Wilson) and console Bethan in the hospital, who is in need of a caesarean section.
Fortunately, the minimalism strategy works sufficiently to amp up a feature-length streak, Tom Hardy is a massively formidable attention-grabber, the full spectrum of his emotional journey is incredibly delivered in the monotonous driving process, he is so close to acquire an Oscar nomination only if he has more to showcase instead of being wholly confined behind the wheel. The voice cast is serviceable, the standout is Andrew Scott (the limelight-stealing Jim Moriarty in SHERLOCK series), whose conversion throughout the film is so graphically enthralling although we never have the chance to see his character while, the rest of them are plainly predictable, sometimes they are dangerously tantamount to cliched annoyance.
Director Steven Knight is an accomplished screen writer (notably for his Oscar-nominated DIRT PRETTY THINGS 2002 and EASTERN PROMISES 2007), but in the director’s chair, he cleverly sidesteps the formality and laborious endeavor and displays a well-written melodrama in full throttle, if not too much contrived in its straightforward face-value (e.g. Ivan’s condemnation of his dead father is an awkward overkill to emphasize his determined motivation). On a whole, LOCKE is interesting in its creation, with one Oscar-worthy performance and a sappy and uninspired moral tale.