Locke (2014) - A Film Review

Has anyone seen the movie Locke yet? My friend Isabel recommended it to me whilst I was in Spain recently, and it is a real cracker...

I am by no means a movie-snob. I love a big Hollywood blockbuster as much as art house cinema, and I am sure there is room to appreciate the whole spectrum of film making. But every now and then I feel completely nourished by a piece of cinematography, in a way that can only be achieved through subtlety. Steven Knight's Locke is simple and brilliantly executed. It has delicate touches of sound that really build an impressive atmosphere. There is so little visual movement in the film, that all your other senses as part of an audience come in to play; of course sound, but I also wondered if I was seeing things at one point. With some fantastic writing, also by Knight, this is really one to watch if you get the chance.

Engineer Ivan Locke has just received some life-changing news. You aren't sure what until a quarter of a way through the film, but you know the journey he is about to make in his car is going to be wrought with difficulty. On the surface, the entire film is about that journey, and set pretty much in real time you can feel the palpable pace as he drives from one end of England to the other. On a deeper level, we are witnessing one man's battle to redefine the precedent his father set, of being absent and unreliable, in the most difficult of circumstances.

The score is minimal, leaving a massive space for sound, mainly dialogue, to provide most of the tapestry. There are some great moments of low humming, passing cars- which you aren't sure are the beginning note of a sinister soundtrack, or if it really is the noise of another vehicle and you've just fallen deep into the tension of this man's situation. 

As a whole, it is the simplicity of the film which is champion. Tom Hardy is absolutely convincing. As are most of the off-screen actors; with just the faintest whiff of drama-school monologue. But the lead certainly grounds the film enough for you to be swept into his world. The restraint Hardy displays, in contrast with the brutal roles he is better known for playing, is impressive to say the least. Knight's subject of morality at odds with practical solution is explored entirely; as we journey through romantic, professional and paternal relationships via a very likeable character.

I really enjoyed watching this, I think from script to grading it is stellar. Did anyone else see it yet? Would love to know what you thought.

And if you've already seen and liked it, here's a couple of others you might enjoy...