What could be better than spending and hour and a half with Tom Hardy on his own? Well ditching the poor Welsh accent would have been a start in this film.
This film uses the bold technique of only having one actor on screen in a car for the entirety of the piece.
So what is going on here….Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) receives a phone call which sends him driving to London, on the way he makes a series of phone calls, where the viewer discovers that he has the biggest concrete pour of his life happening the next day, which he will not be in attendance for, he had a one night stand with a women who is now having his baby and is based in London, he is a dedicated family man who now needs to tell his wife that he is having a baby with the one night stand and he wants to do the right thing and that there is an amazing football game going on that he should be watching with his sons.
As he drives, the viewer sees the reliances that people in his life have on him, from the people that work with him, to the women who is having his baby, to his wife and children. Even though he loses his job he still takes control of arranging the necessary for a successful delivery of the concrete the next day ( I suspect because this is the only part of his life he still feels completely in control of).
The situation deteriorates for Locke as he tells his wife of the baby, and the child birth has complications. He also has to drive the M25, which frankly is not something that I would wish on my worst enemy.
As Locke draws near to the hospital he hears of the successful birth of the baby.
The filming of this is dark, with the smeary lighting of motor way driving. The confinement of one actor in a car gives the feeling of isolation and desperation as the phone calls vary from calm to irrational and irrational behaviour from those calling, with very little Locke can do but talk each person through it.
This type of film demands great acting as the viewers attention is trained on every facial experession and action that happens. Hardy gives a stoic performance of a man losing everything, with only one real emotional outburst as he has a conversation with his father who he imagines is sitting in the passenger seat.
Quite unsubtly his construction job, is a symbol of his life, and as his job is taken from him, the building blocks of his life also start to crumble until all he is left with is the car that he is driving and a women he doesn’t know with a baby he doesn’t really want.
Locke is obviously haunted by his past and not wanting to make the same mistakes his father as he continually repeats the line, I have made my decision….that being he won’t retred the footsteps of his father.
Where the construction job is a symbol of his comfortable life that he has just watched crumble at his own doing, the new baby is the symbol of the potential of Locke’s future although the film does fail to play on this part, focusing on the demise and not on the positive aspects.
This is one of the most awesomely boring movies you will watch. It’s strangely gripping for a film where ultimately it’s a guy in a car talking about concrete and watching his life get desimated through a fated design.