Film Review: Locke
Writer-director Steven Knight’s interesting concept Locke translates into a thoroughly absorbing film.
Ivan Locke is a successful construction manager. His life changes in a series of phone calls while he drives…
Steven Knight’s film is a fantastic product, given the constraints of filming time and budget. Locke is not completely original, and yet is is innovative with what it does. Given the premise, it is difficult to imagine a film such as this would grab the viewer’s attention. It does this incredibly effectively however, thanks to its fine execution.
The first third of Locke is preoccupied with the mystery of where the central character is going and why he needs to make these calls. The significance of the conversations is felt in the middle third. The final section is the most reflective.
The monologues Ivan has are what reveals the most about his character. He is a blank slate at the beginning of Locke, and by the end of the film the audience has a very clear idea of his life and personality simply on the basis of a car journey.
The script in the film is essential to the film’s success. Exposition is cleverly masked, with characters appearing natural from the conversations. One of the film’s strengths is the way it builds those who are not on screen into believable characters.
Music in Locke works well, functioning as a good accompaniment. Within the confines of the space, Knight retains the focus on his lead, generating a sense of tension.
Tom Hardy needs to deliver a strong performance to carry the film, and he does this ably. He receives good support from the vocal talents of Ruth Wilson, Olivia Colman and Andrew Scott.
Locke is a fine example of an engrossing film with the simplest of set ups. Fresh and impressive viewing.