Locke (2013) Film Review


Locke is a 2013 British-American drama film written and directed by Steven Knight. The film stars Tom HardyOlivia Colman and Andrew Scott .

When I saw the trailer I wasn’t sure what to expect as it didn’t give much indication as to what the movie was really about. I went to the Glasgow Film Festival screening of Locke knowing that i can except Tom Hardy driving in a car.

The premise of the film is that our protagonist Ivan Locke ( Tom Hardy ) leaves an important construction job in Birmingham and drives to London. The reason he is driving to London is later revealed in the film. Along the way, he tries to fix his personal and professional problems on his mobile phone.

This is really about making a film in the most basic form, as long as you have a good script and acting then you don’t need fancy special effects or any other Hollywood tricks. Steven Knight has managed to keep me watching for 80 minutes even though Ivan Locke is the only character you get to see. Other characters appear off screen as you only ever hear their voices from Ivan’s mobile conversations with them. Even though you don’t see them,  Steven Knight has done a brilliant job in writing the dialogue so that you can learn a lot about them from just what they say and how they say it.

Ivan Locke, at first seems like a heartless douche in the beginning until he has a conversation with his eldest son. When he finally breaks down emotionally , it’s because his walls have come crashing down as he realizes the consequences of his actions have affected his children.  Steven Knight has managed it to pull it off and make us care about Ivan and what happens to him. The film happens also in near perfect real time, which means we are finding out information at the same time as Ivan. Real time is risky as you risk losing the viewers’ attention and patience. Steven’s script and Tom’s performance though keep’s you glued to the screen.

It’s a bold and risky move to have your whole film primarily focused on one protagonist and one set (the car). Other films such as Phonebooth and Buried have helped path the way to an innovative style of film making.

The  Glasgow Film Festival is being held in Glasgow from 20th February to 2nd March 2014.


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