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Locke (2013) Review

Time: 85 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive language
Cast
Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke
Ruth Wilson as Katrina Locke
Olivia Colman as Bethan Maguire
Andrew Scott as Donal
Ben Daniels as Gareth
Tom Holland as Eddie Locke
Bill Milner as Sean Locke
Director: Steven Knight

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his carefully cultivated existence.

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On paper, Locke seems like an impossible concept to make into a good movie. A movie that was just an hour 30 minutes of someone in a car making phone calls seemed like it would be rather boring. Don’t let that concept put you off, because Locke is truly great. Along with a brilliant script and impressive direction, lead Tom Hardy gives one of the best performances I’ve seen in a very long time. Locke is worth watching even just for Hardy’s performance.

As I said, this movie is about one man in a car making phone calls, for about 90 minutes. In order for this to work the script would need to be something incredible. Thankfully, Steven Knight’s script is brilliant and holds your attention from start to finish. I wouldn’t say that this film is very structured, it played out in real life, there are several things going on at once. I guess one of the subplots which involves something happening at Locke’s work isn’t quite as interesting as the others, but it’s still pretty good. I don’t want to go into too much depth about the plotlines and what is driving him to make certain decisions because I don’t want to spoil anything, I think its better experiencing and finding out for yourself. I was riveted from start to finish and given its concept, that’s very admirable. I guess if you aren’t into dialogue driven movies, you probably will find this a little boring and uninteresting. But I do recommend giving it a chance, even if you don’t usually watch these kinds of films.

This whole movie is basically Tom Hardy’s. This is one of Tom Hardy’s all time best performances, and considering all the spectacular performances he’s given, that’s really saying a lot. There are some moments where Tom Hardy is just in the car driving without speaking and he can convey his emotions so clearly. He’s also incredibly subtle, considering many of the things that are going on and that he’s dealing with, he doesn’t feel over the top or showy at any point. I also thought the change in accents really worked well, and helped make him seem a lot more calm. Other actors like Andrew Scott, Olivia Colman and Tom Holland do voicework as certain characters that Hardy’s Locke phones up and they are great in their roles. But of course its Hardy who steals the show and is the highlight of the cast and the film.

There’s not much to say about the direction of the movie by writer/director Steven Knight, but it does enough to maintain your interest incredibly well. It doesn’t overshadow Hardy and really focusses in on him and his reactions, allowing us to see his reactions and performance. The moments when Hardy isn’t talking at all are great, some of the silent moments are among the best scenes of the whole film.

Locke is a fantastic movie, with a unique and risky concept executed very well by Steven Knight and with an absolutely incredible lead performance by the excellent Tom Hardy. I don’t see Locke as a movie that can be rewatched many times, but that’s not a slant against Locke, not all great movies are rewatchable. It’s at least worth watching once for Steven Knight’s great and captivating writing but most of all, Tom Hardy’s flawless performance. Definitely check it out when you can.