Locke is the surname of Ivan Locke, and this is the film where Tom Hardy, as the titular character, is the only one seen onscreen.
He’s a construction site foreman and it’s the eve of a big project that takes place in the morning, regarding a large amount of concrete being delivered to serve as the foundations of a building. The script goes into the finer details of the type of mix of concrete and everything involved, including road closures that need to be agreed with the council and the police, but you do find yourself getting swept along with that, even if, like me, you’ve no idea how any of the nitty gritty of that works.
Locke is driving from his workplace to a destination you’ll discover early on in the film, and you watch as he drives from A to B, making a series of phone calls over his BMW’s fancy Bluetooth device to his mobile. These calls are made to and from his wife Katrina (Luther‘s Ruth Wilson), sons Eddie (Tom “more successful than his father Dominic” Holland) and Sean (Bill Milner), colleagues Donal (Sherlock‘s Andrew Scott) and Gareth (Ben Daniels) – the latter his boss, who is stored under his phone’s address list as Bastard, and finally, former colleague Bethan (Olivia Colman).
Of course, despite the fact that Hardy is the only one seen, it doesn’t mean the others are exactly lazing about, as they have to put the efforts into their vocal performances, to counter the fact there’s no body language on display from them.
And I don’t want to say any more about the film as it’s better to let this one play out with it all to discover.
It seems to be the year for unconventional films, like this, Boyhood, Under the Skin, The Zero Theorem and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Even when one or two of them don’t quite work out in the long run as you’d have hoped, there’s still great innovation to enjoy.
The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and there’s no issues with the print at all, as you’d expect from a modern film, with everything onscreen sharp and details. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 50″ Plasma screen with a Samsung BDP1500 player.
Audio-wise, while the sound is in the usual DTS 5.1, there’s nothing to excite the rear speakers, but this is primarily a speech film with the ambient sound of the inside of a car. But then you’re not here for a sound FX masterclass, you’re here for a unique experience overall, and it certainly delivers that.
There’s just one visual extra amongst this trio, and it’s in HD:
- Ordinary Unraveling: Making Locke (9:36): This is interesting in the way that, as Tom Hardy is in the car, the rest of the cast are in a hotel, performing their lines as if it’s a radio play, and phoning Tom’s car so that the conversation happens ‘live’, which makes it the easiest way to get the best reaction for the film.
It’s also interesting to know that the script was written with only Tom Hardy in mind, and no other actor.
The chat in this piece mostly comes from crew members, plus Hardy, and it’s interspersed with film clips and on-set footage.
- Audio descriptive track: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
- Audio commentary: from director Steven Wright.
There are subtitles in English only, a miserly 12 chapters – the same figure a lot of other distributors use these days, sadly, and the menu features a mostly static cover image, but with some clips behind the featured characters, all set to a brief piece of the theme music.
Running time: 85 minutes
Released: August 25th 2014
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Panavision)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Steven Knight
Producer: Guy Heeley and Paul Webster
Screenplay: Steven Knight
Music: Dickon Hinchliffe
Ivan Locke: Tom Hardy
Bethan: Olivia Colman
Katrina: Ruth Wilson
Donal: Andrew Scott
Gareth: Ben Daniels
Eddie: Tom Holland
Sean: Bill Milner
Cassidy: Danny Webb
Sister Margaret: Alice Lowe
Dr. Gullu: Silas Carson
PC Davids: Lee Ross
Gareth’s Wife: Kirsty Dillon
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.