If I told you about a 90-minute movie where everything takes place within the interior of a car and there are no car chases, you probably wouldn’t be interested in seeing it.
What if this movie starred Tom Hardy? Okay, maybe you would be a teeny bit interested. But that is a pretty big maybe, right?
Well, Locke is that movie and I have to tell you: It is pretty darn brilliant!
The movie stars Hardy as Ivan Locke, a man making an evening drive from his workplace into London. The movie takes place almost in real time. In the beginning of the film, Locke makes a phone call while driving and explains to the other person that he is on his way and will arrive in about 90 minutes which is about the length of the film.
The film and the camera itself focuses on Locke as the other characters only “appear” via speaker phone. There are calls home as Locke explains to his sons that he won’t be coming home that evening. Calls to an employee and his boss take place to coordinate logistics for the next day’s construction job. There are also calls with a woman named Bethan who at one point asks, “Have you even told your wife someone is having your baby?”
Oh my. Not to make a pun, but that really sets the stage for one interesting ride.
With Locke the filmmakers show that one doesn’t need explosions or special effects to create a thrilling ride for audiences. Each phone call is a desperate attempt by Locke to prevent his world from crumbling around him. The minimalist nature of the film combined with the intensity of the story make for an emotional ride for the audience. You become the passenger in a car going to an unknown place yet you are curious how you will get there.
Locke is written and directed by Steven Knight.