Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson
Director: Steven Knight
Running Time: 85 mins
Locke is a British film about a successful man on the eve of the most important day of his career who receives an unexpected phone call while driving home that begins to tear his life apart.
This is a really well-written and well-acted film. It’s the story of a guy driving down the M1 for an hour and a half on his own, which seems immediately boring, however the drama that unfolds through a series of simple phone calls turn this into a thrilling and constantly twisting story that will keep you intrigued right up until the end.
The main thing that really holds this film together is Tom Hardy’s excellent performance. The way that he maintains this air of calm about his character so consistently despite the clear turmoil that he’s experiencing was fantastic, whilst he also manages to pull off a character that was very contrasting and often difficult to work out, which really helped me to get more invested in the story.
However, even with Tom Hardy’s performance, the story is still hugely important to making this film work well, and the way that the plot is written out to use the phone calls and internal monologues was brilliant here. It’s a technique that you see from time to time (Phone Booth for example), but I’ve never seen it pulled off so well as it is here, because it just really makes you feel the realism of the situation.
There’s not much more I can say about the story without spoiling it, but needless to say that when you first get thrown into the plot right at the beginning, it all feels a little preposterous and over-the-top, but the way that Hardy and the writing manage to bring everything back down to earth and make it so fascinating is testament to how good and exciting this film can be.
The only problem I had with this film is about how it was shot. In these one person/one place films, the filming is always going to be restricted, however this film really looked very repetitive, with only about 5 or 6 different camera angles for nearly an hour and a half, and that, whilst adding somewhat to the realism of the story, did bore me quite a bit, because it looked almost as a monotonous as a normal motorway journey can be.
Overall, though, this gets a 7.8 for its fantastic writing, realism and intrigue, all brought together under a fantastic performance by Tom Hardy.