One man puts the life he has created on the line when he tries to juggle his family, his job and the soon to be born child of someone he barely knows, all from the phone in his car.
On paper the premise to Locke does not seem especially gripping. Tom Hardy drives a BMW and talks to a load of people on the phone, sometimes about concrete. However let me assure you that Locke is absolutely thrilling. Tom Hardy, already widely regarded as a fantastic actor, puts in his best performance yet (although I haven’t seen The Drop), because he is on screen for nearly the full duration of the movie, and is the only actor we see the face of at all. It is a big ask to have one actor carry an entire movie, but Tom Hardy does that here spectacularly.
A film like this though, however well scripted and acted could still turn out a little boring, but here the camera work moves around enough within and slightly outside this one car. While your mind is captivated with Tom Hardy’s characters life essentially spiralling out of control before his very eyes, your eyes have enough to concentrate on as well. While not a single member of the supporting cast is ever seen, they still manage to put in strong performances, with Andrew Scott as the friend from work tasked with covering for Tom Hardy in his absence, Olivia Coleman as the woman about to give birth to Tom Hardy’s child and Ruth Wilson as his wife.
Overall, this ran the risk of just being a gimmick film, but it more than overcomes this, and is absolutely gripping right to the end of its relatively short runtime of 84 minutes. Tom Hardy probably won’t get any award period recognition for this, but he really should.