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Locke: Tom Hardy and the Open Road

August 14, 2014

Locke movie poster

I purposefully didn’t watch any trailers for Locke. I knew it featured Tom Hardy in a car for 90 minutes and I didn’t want the film sullied by too much information via trailers or interviews. The thought of Hardy acting again after his tough guy roles in Lawless and Dark Knight Rises had an appeal to me. Gone is the tough guy persona and what we get is a man named Ivan Locke who has made a terrible mistake. It isn’t life threatening but it is life altering. Locke’s life isn’t going to be pleasant for a while yet he chooses to meet his miscue head on.

Filmed over six nights Locke gives us a fantastic character. The film is a mini-miracle of director/actor trust and fantastic editing and cinematography. All the elements combine to form a confident movie that engages and excites.

The director Steven Knight rehearsed the film for five days with the actors then let them do their thing over the six-day shoot. Some nights they would film two completely different 90 minute versions and when it was all done they edited the best parts together. Some scenes last around 10 minutes and allow Hardy to show every emotion in the book. I loved watching a man trying to keep it together whilst everything changes around him.

Locke Tom Hardy

It isn’t a one man morality play (Phone Booth) or indictment on the Iraq War (Buried). It is the story of a dependable man and one mistake. He has a good job, a family that loves him and the respect of his peers. Yet, his 90 minute drive to London will change all of that. Tom Hardy holds the close-ups well and disappears into his Welsh-accented character. I love the moment when he is motivating his assistant to complete the job he left by saying:

You do it for the piece of sky we are stealing with our building. You do it for the air that will be displaced. And most of all, you do it for the f—–g concrete, because it is delicate as blood

We find out that Locke left for London the night before the largest concrete pour in Europe. 200 trucks will be rolling in and the amount of variables needed to be checked are countless. He has been the man for ten years and his higher-ups are justifiably pissed off by his departure. He also has another drama that is much more important to his life. Over the course of the film you find out why he is doing what he is doing. He made his bed and now he has to drive to it.

Locke is pure cinema. It wasn’t made by committee or meant for the masses. It tells a singular story and doesn’t pander to the audience. Nothing happens that will change the world and there is no problem with that. It is a riveting and incredibly human piece of work that reminds us of Tom Hardy’s acting skills and that directors are still striving for something different.

Watch Locke. Appreciate Locke. Learn a lot about concrete.

Hardy Locke







3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2014 1:03 am

    It’s all about what Hardy’s capable of doing in this one man show and it’s really something to behold. Good review.


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