When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I was intrigued, for it featured nothing more but Tom Hardy driving in the middle of the night. And then I saw Andrew Scott’s name and I know I just can’t miss this.
Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) decided to do something that’s so unlike him: taking a 1,5 hour drive to London and risking everything that he hold dear all this time. Along the way, he had to deal with various problems through phone calls or he might lost his family, his work, his biggest achievement to date, and his home.
I dare to say that this will be one of my favorite movie of the year. Locke has a very simple premise and a straightforward delivery that could easily become a limitation. Yet it manages to deliver, and it’s the simplicity that hooked me throughout – and even after – the movie. It’s just a story about an ordinary man who tries to make it right, to amend for an one night mistake that he made, while also trying to account to his responsibility towards his family and his work. It’s a story that could’ve easily befall anyone else, and Steven Knight doesn’t try to lavish it with drama and lots of conflicts. Instead, Steven Knight present it in an unpretentious, but elegant, way: a drive throughout the night and phone calls.
The story itself is heartwarming and a slap in the face. Ivan could’ve turn away, he could’ve decide to ignore Bethan’s call and goes back to his home, pretending that everything never happens. He could’ve turn a blind eye and everything would still be fine. But he has to do the right thing because he knows what it feels like to be brought into this world as a bastard. He could’ve abide to Gareth when he said that he’s sacked, but he choose to stick to his responsibility and makes sure that the construction goes as planned without a hitch. I suppose I fell for the idea that Ivan could’ve done the most logical thing in the world, which is giving Bethan a cold shoulder, but he didn’t. And even then, he still try to makes everything right instead of neglecting everything, the way overly dramatic stories tend to describe such decision as.
I also adore how, despite the restrictions he placed upon himself, Steven Knight still managed to make Locke a very gripping movie and suck me in right from the start. There’s some moment where things started to feel a bit too cramped, but for most of the part, I don’t mind being trapped in the car with Ivan Locke as he struggles to straighten everything up. The cinematography was still pretty, thanks to Haris Zambarloukos, and I really love those beautiful night shots of the city and the roads.
It’s a given that Tom Hardy was the star of the movie, and yet I’m still awed by the repressed frustration that he show throughout the movie, the raw emotions that seeped out at certain moments, the forced calmness in handling everything, and those glaze of tears just broke my heart. But you can’t forget the other actors and actresses who managed to be in character and conveys such emotions through nothing but their voices. Ruth Wilson as Katrina is just someone that I would really love to hate, for she’s so overly emotional and can’t seems to think straight. Ben Daniels as Gareth was also annoying, and yet understandable. Meanwhile, Olivia Colman as Bethan is fragile, unstable, and yet you can’t help but to pity her at some point of time. Both Tom Holland as Eddie and Bill Milner as Sean steal the attention as uncertain kids that needs assurance from their dad. And Andrew Scott, oh Andrew Scott as Donal was just lovely and adorable and he’s such a breath of fresh air when it feels like the walls are closing in.
Locke, for me, is a movie that delivers with such conviction, it turns simplicity into elegance. Captivating, and I especially adore how it hit all the right notes for me. It’s so easy to turns your back on doing something right, especially when the stakes are high. And Locke is a subtle reminder that some things are worth risking everything for, particularly when you know you’re doing the right thing.
Director: Steven Knight. Writer: Steven Knight. Released on: 23 April 2014. Casts: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels.