Culture of Pop

Tom Hardy Shines in ‘Locke’

Brought to you by our friends at Reel Worth.

What Worked?

One of the best places to have time to yourself and really think about your life is in your car; it’s like your own personal confession booth. There’s only you, the road, and your thoughts. Steven Knight’s Locke is a film about a man facing his problems on a long drive. It’s a simple film about the complexity of the human condition, more particularly about how we want to set things right. Tom Hardy stars as Ivan Locke, a family man and successful construction manager defining right and wrong.

Knight has written a script with a simple story that captures layers of what man is capable of doing. Hardy is given a script to work with that matches his amazing acting, and he’s able to showcase his intensity and sincerity beautifully through the story. Although the whole film takes place in a car, it never drags, partially because of the tense yet tranquil way in which it’s shot. There are also subtle layers of symbolism and messages sprinkled throughout, influencing the audience to dig deeper. For example, “It’s always been” flashes by on a semi-truck. Intriguing pieces like that are inserted to enhance the experience of Ivan’s journey.

Tom Hardy gives a performance that snugly wraps its fingers around your throat. He plays an everyday family man that’s dedicated to his job, but his downfall is also what makes him successful. It’s in our nature to act outside ourselves every once and awhile, because if we didn’t we’d go insane. That’s what Ivan Locke did, and that’s what he’s trying to make up for. In the process, he goes insane in order to stay sane.

What the film shows is that good men are sinners too, plain and simple. How hard can we take our mistakes? How far will we go to set things right? Driving is the metaphor that moves the film. The direction we choose is up to us, but we must stay the course with whatever we choose if we believe in it enough.

Potential Drawbacks

If you’re not into movies like Buried or even Phone Booth, this may not be the film to see. It’s a one-man show with a simple story, intense acting, and subtle symbolism. Yes, the poster may look like Hardy is going to kick some ass, but he doesn’t.

There are some that may not agree with the character’s actions. Now, this can really intrigue some people, and really piss off others. Depending on your opinion of his actions, the film may just work you up so much that you have to turn it off.

This is a very well done film, but there are some parts that could have been developed more, especially with the person that Ivan is driving to see. The ending was also done well, but there was an alternate route that it could have gone where the audience might have been more intrigued.


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