What director Knight excels at is continually inventive framing and composition, at suggesting, through layers of window and reflected traffic, the mental state of Locke, the hero.
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Locke never shies away from from thrusting 21st concepts of masculinity into the full glare of the high beams, exposing its morally complex protagonist at his most vulnerable before triumphantly rebuilding him from the foundations upwards. Don't miss it.
A masterclass in how the most local, most hemmed-in stories can reverberate with the power of big, universal themes.
No less impressive than the narrative mastery here, however, is the technical execution of this bold minimalist experiment.
The literalizing of Ivan Locke's hidden self and his inability to master it ultimately exposes the film as the squarest kind of theater: drama therapy.
This ingeniously executed study in cinematic minimalism has depth, beauty and poise.
A very impressive film, one that can only increase the esteem in which both Knight and Hardy are held.
There are films to see on huge screens, but this is one that almost cries out for a small cinema, surrounded by total blackness. It’s a daring experiment brilliantly executed, with Tom Hardy giving one of the performances of his career.
If you are asking an audience to listen to one man talking for an hour and a half, you had better make sure he is worth listening to, and minute-by-minute, Hardy has you spellbound.
Full credit to Hardy and Knight for making a film such as Locke. Low-budget film-makers could learn a lot from their method. And yet – having stripped away all but the bare necessities, having reduced the components to a car and a man – they make a classic error of overcompensation.