|Image from: http://www.screenrelish.com|
The concept of setting a film over the course of a car journey from a to b is a brave one to say the least. It’s the type of idea that usually proves to be nothing more than a gimmick, but the film makers behind Locke have used it to create a truly fascinating film.
Beyond its originality, Locke is a film with real substance. It’s been marketed as a thriller, but it’s undoubtedly a drama; and whilst it may lack the thrills, it’s full of tension that doesn’t let up the entire film.
The main reason why Locke works for me is the screenplay by Steven Knight, who also directs. His writing has great realism and remains grounded even in its more theatrical moments, which include Locke having conversations with his (literally) absent father.
Above all, it’s a great character study that hinges on the performance of its central actor, Tom Hardy. I have to say that his dodgy welsh accent is slightly baffling and occasionally it does slip into the same weird type of accent we’ve heard from him before, something I like to call Baneish.
However, accent aside, his performance as the title character is a joy to watch. He carries the film with ease and puts in a multifaceted and very real piece of acting, which alone makes Locke well worth seeing.
Without going into spoiler territory, I will say I wasn’t wholly satisfied with the film’s conclusion, which in a way feels like it comes to a dead end. Nevertheless this is a small bump in the otherwise smooth journey.
There’s a lot going on with Locke and whilst the film studies student in me wants to talk about its use of roads to symbolise the decisions we make in life, on a very basic level it’s an emotive and innovative film which will make you surprisingly tense.