Locke is a promising directorial debut from director Steven Knight
A small decision can make a huge difference. Ivan Locke discovers that in one night he has to face the consequences of his actions by morning. Frankly, he is running out of time.
Directed and written by Steven Knight, Locke is a British drama film set in a single confined location. With a compelling script, beautiful cinematography and strong performance from Tom Hardy, this is a movie you do not want to miss.
DESTROY THE LIFE HE'S CAREFULLY BUILT
Ivan is a successful construction manager and a dedicated family man. When he drives home from work that night, it was supposed to be like any other night. However, a little secret he has been hiding for a year suddenly threatens to arise. Not only does it ruin the family football night, it could potentially destroy the life he has carefully built for 15 years. "I have a list of things I have to do tonight while I'm driving," he says, and boy, it’s a handful.
From one phone call to another, in each conversation Ivan has, we get to know his character better. In the opening scene he receives a message from a woman who is not his wife and it leaves you wondering if Ivan has been unfaithful. Then he calls home to talk to his sons who are eagerly waiting for his return, and it makes you think what a loving dad he is. But at the same time, this is the guy who saves his boss’ number as 'Bastard' on his phone.
As the story develops, he begins to receive a series of frantic phone calls. More and more people demand Ivan's attention at the same time, causing him to start panicking. His hands remain firm on the wheel, even though he starts fidgeting in his seat and touching his face. It's as if he cannot believe that this is happening to him. Ivan tries to remain calm and holds back his emotions. He has so much at stake with only a short time to deal with them. All he has is his in-car speakerphone and his BMW as silent witnesses of his life crumbling to pieces.
A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO A ONE-MAN SHOW
Tom Hardy gives a whole new meaning to a one-man show. He is the only actor present on screen and he gives it all he’s got. He handles Ivan's frustrations smoothly as he goes through every emotion a man can have when his life comes crashing down in one night. He does everything with perfect timing. From the way he tries to steady his voice so his sons won't get suspicious, to finally losing his temper when he jeopardises his job. You see, Ivan Locke is a good man; it’s just that the one time he makes a mistake, it happens to be the poorest decision he’s ever made in his life. Hardy manages to give him a fair portrayal, and in 85 minutes his performance remains unshakeable.
Steven Knight's script is strong and engaging. Each passage of dialogue is captivating, including Hardy's monologue when he imagines talking to his deceased father. Knight manages to make the dialogue complex with all of Ivan's issues, yet it is still easy to follow for the audience. Not to mention how he beautifully describes construction work 'Do it for the piece of sky we are stealing with our building!'
Along with the beautiful cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos— who successfully created a visual that blends nicely with the story— the rest of the cast might not appear on screen, but their performances are not to be ignored. In particular Andrew Scott and Olivia Colman, who brilliantly capture the essence of what the theater of the mind is all about. All of these aspects combine into a well-executed film that is surprisingly very entertaining. Do not let the lack of hype from the movie stop you from seeing it. Take a leap of faith and a seat next to Ivan, you will enjoy the ride.