Thursday, May 1, 2014

Let Locke Wash Over You

In a sea of pleasantries, Ivan Locke makes one mistake, but being the man of conviction he is, he has to take responsibility for his actions.
At heart, Locke is a very simple movie. Tom Hardy in a car. For an hour thirty. Driving. While metaphors do abound, the story never tries to push too hard. It's clear what's happening at any given moment and the plot never wanders. The group of characters Hardy speaks to while in the car are each precise and alive in their own way. But Hardy animates them even further with his visible subtleties. As a good friend put it, this film was like reading a novel. You develop a firm picture in your head of each of these characters even though you never actually get to see them.
If you got out to see Buried a couple years ago, this format isn't exactly mind-blowing. Man on cellphone tries to fix his life. One man show. This could easily have been a stage play. But someone was wise enough to put it on screen and pace it in just the right way. And while I felt like some of the road cutaways were borderline cheating, I can easily let that slide since the quality of content from every other moment of the film is so solid.
Essentially, Tom Hardy is a phenomenal performer. He carries this whole thing on his back while doing a character we (somehow) haven't seen from him before. While I don't always think of Hardy as a chameleon, the man certainly can change his voice. And in that one excellent maneuver, it feels as though he sheds his face. It takes real talent to do what he does.

Before the summer really gets going, you should try and catch this one. Believe me, you'll be craving something like it once the big action blockbusters start kicking your butt.

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