How could a film involving one actor driving a car possibly be worth seeing? Buy a ticket and be prepared for a mesmerizing trip.
With Locke, Director Steven Knight conquers the shortcomings of Robert Redford’s performance in All Is Lost. Their similarity ends with the fact that there is but one character in each film. Though it was hard to care if Redford lived or died in Lost, you can’t help but root for Ivan Locke.
Mr. Locke is played by the fantastic Tom Hardy, an actor that all of you should be following. An English actor of immense range, start with his performance as the maniacal Bane, the medically challenged villain in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). And if that isn’t enough, take in his fierce performances in Lawless (2012), Warrior (2011) and Inception (2010).
In Locke, Hardy is a happily married father of two who is the construction manager of the largest building project in England’s history. He leaves without notice to his boss or wife, going on a drive in his car for the entire film. He flirts with disaster as he wrestles with a sense of honor that comes close to devastating those around him.
Seeing him only behind the wheel of his car, Locke is constantly receiving phone calls from both his job and home. As he tries to direct one of his employees to supervise the mammoth project he left behind, his immediate boss is progressively angered to the point of being reluctantly forced to fire Locke.
Hardy fully understands the condemnable nature of his journey, but simply has to do what he perceives as decent and fair. As he talks intermittently with his horrified wife, he vacillates through a series of emotions that are synonymous with life’s journey. On the other hand, his wife is disgusted for increasingly obvious reasons.
Forced to acknowledge the ramifications of a regrettable mistake, Locke risks all that is dear to him. Condemn him if you will, but imagine if President Clinton had shown the courage to simply admit his weakness concerning the young Monica Lewinsky and refused to deny the encounter and vilify her in the process. Maybe he would have benefitted had he gotten into a car and simply driven for a few hours to talk things over with an angry Hillary and his staff.
Say what you want about Ivan Locke, but he is no Bill Clinton.