Upon seeing the trailer for Locke a while back, Buried came to mind where the actual story was different yet the delivery was rather similar. So, was Locke just a film about "a man in a car making calls"?
At its heart this film is exactly as advertised. The story of a man who thrives on control and order "stepping" on a sliver of chaos and taking calls on his drive to a meeting with ghosts of the past and future. A lot of complaints that I have seen thrown around concern the actual setting. It is understandable that this film's pace will not cater to everyone's needs. It is quite literally a man in a car making and taking phone-calls. And it is absolutely gripping.
The term "star-vehicle film" takes on quite a meaning in Locke since, let's face it, it includes a star (yes, Tom Hardy is of considerable fame now) in a vehicle... I am happy to inform all you Hardy fans out there that he is gloriously back. Forget about the ham-fisted, half-assed Bane that we were given in the last Nolan Batman film. The only parts of Hardy that performed in that film were his biceps and eyes, the rest was horrid. Especially that stupid half Deckard Cain, half Sean Connery accent he had on. It goes a long way to show that the money poured on a production won't save it if stands on uneven ground and in foul air to begin with. As we say, you can't polish a tu...rtle. But I digress.
In Locke we get Hardy at his finest. Just one set of clothes and a car, that's it. A famed construction worker who is a shining beacon of a man comes face to face with a mistake he suffered that mirrors his entire lifetime in ways the viewer cannot foresee from the first minute. I will not spoil the story but I must say that to truly speak of Locke one must place all the plot points down and analyse them all separately. Thankfully I won't have to do that since everything revolves around this one man and his choices. Hardy delivers an astounding performance as he decides what goes above what on his path to redemption. Steven Knight wrote and directed a stunning story that every person on this planet could relate to because of one simple fact. We have all felt passionately about something in our lives (if you haven't, then check yourself...) and that is what Locke is all about. No matter how up-tight you may consider any character to be (real or not) you must first identify that which drives them before you judge them, if you judge them at all.
If the setting of Locke does not sit at all well on your ears from the get-go, don't bother. If you enjoy stories that are human from beginning to end then you owe it to yourself to share Locke's journey from order to chaos (and back?). You will probably ask yourself a few questions by the time the credits roll on this one. This is art.
- Frixos Masouras 2014