Movie Review by Ade Braithwaite
Starring: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Ben Daniels, Tom Holland, Bill Milner
Director: Steven Knight
I enjoyed this film especially from a film maker’s point of view. It is a simple story told eloquently about an ordinary married man (Ivan Locke) on his way by car to hospital for the birth of his baby, from a one night stand. During the car journey we witness the unravelling of Locke’s life, as he chooses to do the right thing from an out of characteristic wrong choice and be at the birth of his baby, despite the life changing ramifications of this decision.
Locke’s previous act comes home to bite him in the rear as he fidgets in his seat while he contemplates his next feeble attempt to stitch his life back together. Tom Hardy’s acting is on point as is the portrayal of all the other characters. His boss, assistant, wife, sons, and fragile one night stand each burst into the car by phone bringing their various conflicts to Locke for resolution.
Will the concrete pouring job get done? Will Locke get to the hospital in time? Will his wife leave him? Will he lose his job? Answers to these and other questions punctuate the journey and indicate what Locke’s changing relationship status will be with all involved in his increasingly chaos filled life.
I kept on thinking this could easily be a radio play. A lot of the action happens off screen but you clearly see the impact on Locke’s life, courtesy of Tom Hardy’s fine acting.
There were sufficient dollops of laughter, humour, sorrow, pity and most of all uncertainty of outcome sprinkled throughout the film. Did it keep me glued to the screen? Yes! In the clever way the director Steven Knight told this story, he is clearly skilled and adept in keeping the audience engaged in the way the different layers to this story unfolded.
Personally I didn’t appreciate the portrayal of Locke’s relationship with his father, perhaps it should have had a voice breaking through as he dozed off. This might have notched up the tension/suspense a tad more. What did sort of play into the realms of suspense, was the question of whether Locke would have an accident. His driving and file reading multitasking was a nice touch.
Was this part of the brilliant sub-text of the film? An accidental birth followed by a car accident results in the father’s emotional and physical life being literally wrecked. You’ll have to make your mind up and go and see the film.
Locke’s steadfastness to do the right thing out of a wrong act equalled a press on that self-destruct mid-life crisis button. This didn’t ring true to me. He had no intention on forming a relationship with the one night stand. Yet he professed love for his wife. He clearly loved his job. Why risk both of these important parts of his otherwise perfectly ordinary life? Was this perhaps a human miscalculation of an otherwise top of his game calculating engineer?
Well worth a watch to make your own mind up, I can’t wait for a possible sequel.