Friday, May 16, 2014


This was not plan A for Sunday, actually; I was going to go see something at the MFA's Children's Film Festival, but as usual I cut it close, and as happens about 10% of the time, the movie I wanted to see was not listed on their kiosk, and by the time I'd be able to track down a human being, purchase a ticket, and get across the museum to the auditorium... Well, I'd have missed part of the movie. So, I got back on the green line, headed downtown, and had just enough time to run an errand or two that I had put off way too long before Locke started.

Glad I did. Truth be told, I would have anyway - the preview was one that grabbed my attention right away and I like Tom Hardy - but it might have been delayed who knows how long. I do wish that there had been a way to get to the movie at IFFBoston, as writer/director Steven Knight was on-hand, but I'm not sure which movie between God Help the Girl and Dear White People I would have dropped for it.

Anyway, it's pretty great, much better than the gimmick movie it can be made to sound like. Highly recommended.


* * * * (out of four)
Seen 11 May 2014 in AMC Boston Common #7 (first -run, DCP)

Steven Knight's Locke does not take place entirely within the confines of the title character's car as he makes the ninety-minute drive north to London, as there may in fact be an entire minute or two given to him walking to it and getting in. Kidding aside, that's a dangerous gambit, and choosing Tom Hardy as the actor who will anchor the entire movie only hedges the bet a little. Good thing for them that the bet pays off in a movie much more engrossing than 85 minutes with one guy in a car sounds.

Of course, it's not like Ivan Locke (Hardy) is going to spend the drove listening to the football match on the radio like he tells his son; there are a lot of phone calls for him to take and make, whether from the woman in London who is having his baby or the wife who is justifiably upset both by this development itself and the way in which she's learning about it. The situation has Ivan making a running commentary to the absent-even-when-alive father that he imagines in the back seat, as Locked is determined to handle the situation better. Of course, the timing couldn't be worse; Locke is a construction foreman, and his site is scheduled for the largest concrete pour ever done in a noon-military European project, which means a lot of calls to and from his boss, his right-hand man, and all the people who need to be consulted at the last minute.

It is understandable to see that making sure a proper concrete mix is used in a construction site and think that Knight is really determined to find as many ways for his movie to be boring as possible, but the fact that Locke takes his concrete seriously is something I love about this movie. There is detail to Locke's life that may be more interesting than the viewer initially thinks, and which continues even as he's having his personal issues. That it's concrete is definitely no accident - this man has reasons for wanting to lay strong foundations - but Knight doesn't torture the metaphor either before or after the explosion which makes the connection clear, even though it's simple enough to be easily recognized as central to who Ivan Locke is.

Full review at EFC

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