Locke (15)

Directed by Steven Knight
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 25th April 2014

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

I never imagined that a car ride along motorways at nighttime in England could be so engrossing.

Tom Hardy, as Locke, who adopts a credible Welsh accent, takes us on a trip from the Midlands to the outskirts of London on a journey which will irrecoverably change his life. He keeps pressing the next call button on his hands-free telephone system in his BMW but it might as well have been a self destruct button given the perilous state of his world.

Completely against character Locke, a confirmed family man, has made a woman pregnant after a one night stand - he is on his way to the hospital to meet her as she gives birth - and now faces up to the consequences, not just for him but his wife, two kids, Bethan (Olivia Colman) - the woman in question - and his employers based in Chicago. Locke has a top notch job in the building trade, and is due to supervise a major concrete pour the next morning, in which £11m has been invested to construct a skyscraper.

Becoming the father of an unplanned child appears to have made Locke see himself in a completely different way than previously. He could have walked away from any responsibility towards Bethan, not informed his wife Katrina (Ruth Watson) about the impending birth and been ready to oversee at first hand the job he has been assigned to do.

But he decides to confront the new circumstances facing him and informs everyone involved what he plans to do - stuff the consequences. Is he naive, foolhardy, deluded or all three?

He appears to have reached a stage in his life where he is tired of being at the beck and call of his family and employers.

Locke is the only character you see in the film, the rest of the cast are voice only, which adds to the isolation and feeling of alienation experienced by Locke.

Some have compared the movie to a radio play but despite the film being confined to within a car, as well as shots of flowing traffic outside of the moving vehicle, the visual effects created by cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos are highly impressive, including capturing every little nuance of Locke's inner turmoil as expressed by his face.

Definitely a road movie with a difference.

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