NZIFF Review: Locke
One man, a car, (relatively) endless road, a bluetooth and a pile full of problems.
That's what's facing Tom Hardy in this one man movie debuting at the New Zealand International Film Festival.
Tom Hardy plays Ivan Locke, a foreman for a construction company, whose life is carefully built on very solid and precisely maintained foundations. Which are about to crumble around him in emotionally catastrophic terms.
|Locke, at the NZIFF 2014|
As the movie starts, Locke is leaving the site at the end of the day ahead of a major piece of work for the company he's with. Waiting at a traffic light at the start, he literally faces a fork in the road with either turning left or right determining his path through the oncoming storm.
And to say any more than that would be to betray some of the emotional beats and bombs which go off during the piece, which reeks of claustrophobia and a degree of unexpectedly mundane tension.
|Tom Hardy is Locke|
A soft spoken Welsh accented Hardy is eminently watchable in this piece and commands the screen for the 100 minutes of its run time - writer Steven Knight's crafted together something which may polarise some in terms of reaction and expectation over tension, but he's brought together a series of events that have long reaching consequences for all involved as Locke deals with many on the phone as the real time "thriller" plays out. Kudos also have to go to the voice acting talent - from the likes of Broadchurch star Olivia Colman, Luther star Ruth Wilson and Sherlock's Moriarty Andrew Scott, but it's Hardy who's the star of this piece. Occasionally the veneer and carefully constructed exterior starts to slip - notably with conversations to a passenger that only Locke sees in the back of his car but Hardy manages to sell all of these moments with an undying commitment to the one man show.
Like any piece of theatre that's confined to just one person, Locke rises or falls on the central performance and it's one which Hardy delivers with an unswerving devotion to the character; the only threats faced on this journey are occasional traffic and rain, but the personally devastating roadblocks which Locke faces are eminently relatable, occasionally amusing and utterly watchable.
This is one journey that you need to be a passenger on.
The New Zealand International Film Festival kicks off in Auckland on July 17th with the world premiere of The Dark Horse - full details of these films and others can be found at www.nziff.co.nz