Locke is a film that's very simple in premise. It is 85 minutes of Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) driving in his car. During this engaging voyage he has not one, but three situations he must sort out via conversations on his mobile phone. These conversations will either make his life or break it. What the film looses in plot, it makes up for in execution. Locke is a tense, superbly acted and thoroughly entertaining piece of indie filmmaking that unfortunately isn't receiving enough attention, just like most great indies don't.
Tom Hardy is absolutely sublime as Ivan Locke. Locke is a one man show. The film has a simple premise, so simple that it requires just one actor to have an on-screen premise. There's other actors, yes, but none of them are more than just a voice. Tom Hardy gives a breath taking performance, in fact it's up there as one of the best male performances of 2014. I wouldn't go so far as to put him at number one, but he's up there. He's able to immerse us into the situations at hand, all while multitasking between driving, fiddling with objects, and yelling at figments of his imagination, an aspect of the film that surprisingly takes on a vital role in the overall story arch.
For those who've unfortunately sat through last year's Getaway, they'll understand what I mean when I say that crafting mesmerising cinematography in a film that takes place in a car can be quite difficult. Unlike Getaway, Locke doesn't contain any chases or shoot outs or explosions or even a second actor in the car. There's no need for any fast cutting shaky cam in this. Stephen Knight and cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos are perfect. There wasn't a single mediocre shot in the film. Knight is able to blend tension, emotion and the occasional thrill into an unique and simplistic, modern art form.
Locke's plot may sound stupid (I would personally describe the plot as being avant garde), but it's bloody compelling. Steven Knight never manages to lose out attention for the film's thankfully brisk runtime. The choice of having just a single actor in a film is usually either an outrageously good thing or an outrageously bad thing. It's hardly ever in the middle. Many have tried and many have failed. The most common problem that arises with these other films is that there's just not enough for the actors to do. So, in typical avant grade style, the actors in Locke decide to literally do nothing. It is 85 minutes of a man sitting in his car, having a chat or two, and it's always engaging.
To sum up, Locke is a unique and simplistic modern art form that's tense, superbly acted, gorgeously filmed and brilliantly directed. Not to mention the always engaging, and avant garde screenplay.