Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) doesn’t like to be asked questions. Writer/director Steven Knight’s central character first we see in the beginning stands near his car, a BMW, which is pretty much a character itself. Locke gets in and drives off. The man from here makes a series of phone calls to his co-workers and his family. Our character is a married man, a loving husband and a father of two teenage boys. It’s evening after work; a chilly atmosphere set in the United Kingdom. He drives and drives as he speaks to one of his sons. The kids are excited for a game on Television, and they cannot wait for their father to get home. His wife, as explained to him, by his son over the phone, is preparing a meal for the family. But, Ivan Locke is calling to simply state he is not coming home. There’s something important to be done. – It’s that important, and I’m not divulging it here. One can simply find it out when you see the film either on a big screen or on Blu-ray when it’s out.
What’s important about the film is that it’s been shot entirely in a complicated zone, so tight, and close to Hardy’s face, inside of a moving car. Steven Spielberg, after seeing the film, personally dialed Hardy’s number to simply ask the actor, how did you do that? – Hardy is on fire. Yes, man, how in the hell did you do that? – The film isn’t about locations and open spaces, and often one might plead for oxygen, which is also due to the dialogues; emotional as they get, spoken, passionately by Hardy. His gesture and the level of his energy, that’s what the film turns out to be really about, though only on its surface. The real drama is unfolding behind the phone with people Locke is in contact with constantly during his journey to London. This indeed is an important journey.
It’s bold and enthralling; simply fascinating to see the magic of cinema and its very power, for if one has a vision and a daring heart as an artist, he/she can simply make any spot in the world a stage. Here, the BMW, which Locke is driving, is a moving stage, but nothing else. Get the actor like Hardy and know where to set the camera, it will work. Locke spells out the definitions of true cinema. The long pauses, silences, and reflections of the character, and the lights, as they all speak back in poetic tones with the audience. It’s just the way I like films to be. Realistic and too damn delicious, but never giddy.
Locke, the film never journeys to be more confusing, so it remains quite straightforward. The off-screen world, although we never see anyone else except the central character the whole time, is clear enough. It’s good that we don’t get to witness the expressions of the off-screen world. Knight’s characters, which speak back to Locke, if shown, that would’ve been cheap. Knight let’s emotions pour, the rage, and the hidden angers all sitting silent in the very inner-self world, as one at a time they get their proper introductions. Locke himself surprises himself as much as the individual on the other end of the phone. The communications of the characters, though, are truly with the audience here, which sets a series of questions shine in our own minds. – What you build isn’t easy, but it’s never hard to be demolished.