This weeks movie is Steven Knight’s intense 85-minute experience that is Tom Hardy…I mean Locke….I heard Tom Hardy runs for longer….
Reading prior articles about Locke I was on the fence about the plot….It sounded like and a had me excepting Phone Booth on wheels…which in truth wasn’t that appealing apart from the fact this stars Tom Hardy. And in actuality, the confined space of the phone box on wheel is less gimmicky this time around, producing a surprisingly intense drama about a man who’s world is crumbling down on an 85-minute car journey were the audience has a fly on the dashboard view on this taxi-esque journey of emotions….deep I know…
Unlike a real life taxi ride were you wish the driver would stop talking about ‘the fecking Greeks, coming and taking our jobs’, or ‘Did you see that ludicrous display last night…’, eh….yeah …go sports…, Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is actually likeable. An early phone call reveals that he is on his way to a hospital; although married with children, he appears to be caught in a case of infidelity from nine months previous.
The action is inevitably limited by this concept, I mean why couldn’t the protagonist be on a train…then the title could have been called ‘Infidelity Train’…but I think that is being kept as a band name…if not then dips! You could also look at it that Ivan is take matters in to his own hands by stepping on the pedal himself, not knowing if his family will be there when he returns, unsure if he is actually allowed to return, all because it is the honourable thing to do….actually that makes more sense. So what he believes to be an honourable trip begins to stutter amid moments impulsive psychological anger as he converses with his (not actually there) backseat passenger father, all the time the inevitability is being made worse by hearing his children on the phone.
So as I said 338 words ago, Ivan Locke is actually likeable. I know infidelity isn’t likeable, but the fact that he stepped up and allowed the camera crew to follow him on his journey is going to the birth of his illegitimate child. Another subplot which reinforces his likability involves his work commitments, were he is actually fired from his job for leaving to go to the hospital on the eve of a major day for his company. And even though he is fired he continues to work on the project because he prides himself on his work.
OK so a quick recap on the film. The plot is kinda like Phone Box on wheels. It has Tom Hardy (who does some very fine acting). It is shot in real-time, which means the film is based on the actually time it would take for Ivan to travel to the hospital in London from work (which is a pretty cool scripted idea).
It wouldn’t be an amazing film, as I did find myself slipping off to the magical land of Twitter the odd time, but Tom Hardy does deliver one hell of a solo performance and even though the other cast aren’t visible, they do add to this quite intense, compact drama very well. Locke is an effective minimalist take on really bad day that just keeps kicking you when your down and is worth a watch in my opinion. One other thing that did come to mind at the end of the film was….where was the traffic??