The Watchers

The Watchers

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Review: Locke (UK Cert 15)

To be honest, this is going to be quite a short review. I think Locke is a film best seen with as little prior knowledge as possible. So, all you need to know going into the film is this: late one evening, construction foreman Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) leaves a building site in Birmingham and starts to drive. Over the course of his journey- and several phone calls- Ivan's life starts to spiral out of control.

Hardy, despite a slightly comedic Welsh accent, gives a decent performance as a fundamentally decent man in a tough situation. He's the only actor on-screen throughout- the film is virtually all set in Ivan's car, making for a claustrophobic setting- and the anguish and frustration is writ large across his face. The camera is never far from his face, threatening to erupt as the emotions come to the surface.

Other decent performances in the film are Andrew Scott as Ivan's flustered colleague Donal (now given the responsibility for the concrete pour as Ivan has taken off) and Ruth Wilson as Ivan's wife Katrina. There's also a lovely and emotional turn by Olivia Colman and these performances are made all the more remarkable for being voice only. 

The film clips along at a decent pace (it's almost real-time, covering the drive from Birmingham to London) and there's an almost Pinteresque quality to the writing, the seemingly banal conversations about football and concrete revealing hidden depths and hidden menace. The reduction of setting to the car and having all other performances as phonecalls could have come off as a gimmick but it works. Writer-director Steven Knight has created a gripping and absorbing drama which is well worth a watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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