Thursday, January 28, 2021

#2,529. Locke (2013)


Some movies are designed for a communal experience, to be viewed on the big screen in a packed theater. Locke is not one of those movies; it is best seen when you are completely alone.

And “alone” is exactly what the lead character is for the duration of this stunning 2013 film. A life-altering phone call has Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy), loving family man and hard-working foreman, making a late-night drive to London, abandoning his workplace on the eve of the biggest moment of his career.

Knowing full well his actions will likely cost him his job, his wife (voiced by Ruth Wilson), and everything he holds dear, Locke nonetheless is compelled by family history to undertake this journey, and will spend the entire hour and a half trip on his cell phone, trying his damnedest to salvage the life he worked so hard to build.

Writer / director Steven Knight’s Locke is incredibly bold in its approach; it’s a one-man show, set inside the lead character’s car. Fortunately for Knight, he cast the perfect actor in the title role. Tom Hardy is brilliant as the controlled, ultra-professional Locke, a man everyone has come to rely upon. In fact, I would go so far as to say this is Hardy’s finest performance.

Several strong actors lend their voices in supporting roles, including Wilson, Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott (especially good as Locke’s panic-stricken co-worker), and a young Tom Holland (as Locke’s son, Eddie), but this is Hardy’s show, and he is mesmerizing from start to finish.

If you think there’s no way an almost 90-minute single-setting drama can keep you on the edge of your seat, think again. Locke is a modern masterpiece.
Rating: 10 out of 10

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