Tom Hardy is the focus of this dramatic piece as a man who’s life collapses as he takes a long nighttime drive.
Ivan Locke is the head of a construction company with nine years under his belt as a reliable workman and surveyor, his peers and superiors know him as level-headed. But tonight Locke makes a decision that threatens to destroy his family and end his career.
Locke is a short film with a narrow point of focus; we follow Tom Hardy’s Locke while he is driving during the entire film. He doesn’t stop anywhere en route, he doesn’t encounter anyone on the road, we are only interested in him and what he says to his family and colleagues over the phone.
So the film is very subdued and very quiet. We aren’t told anything until Locke converses with the appropriate person over the phone, making the start of this film very compelling as we hang on every word he says to learn what is happening in his life.
Hardy is, once again, pulling an accent here and a Welsh accent at that. It is quite convincing. The other characters he speaks to over the phone are never seen, but are well enough developed that this sliver of presence is enough to go on.
The extent in which Locke’s life dissolves provides the adversary for his own convictions; if Hardy’s performance wasn’t as excellent as it is (as you know it will be) this film would have collapsed into obscurity.
So having said that, this film is Tom Hardy’s performance and little else. It is very nicely shot: the colours of street lights, the car interior and reflections as well as the pacing of the film are great.
But it does mostly just stop. I realise that the artistry of the film would have been lost if Locke finished his road journey and met someone, but I felt I was missing a portion of the conclusion by the way it was structured. Not that I don’t appreciate the subtly of the film’s message about how life can so drastically change around you with one decision.
Overall, without giving anything away story-wise (it is the meat of the film) I enjoyed Locke for all of its short run-time. Maybe not the most memorable of stories, but it left me with food for thought.