“Locke” (2013) is a deeply compelling British drama starring Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke, a construction foreman in Birmingham preparing for an daunting and extensive concrete pour. Learning from his pregnant former lover Bethan (Olivia Colman) that she has entered premature labor, Locke abandons his post and immediately launches onto a 90-minute trek to London in order to accompany her.
Over the course of its running time, the film focuses in on Locke as he courses along the dark nighttime stretch of the M1 Motorway, engaging in a dense series of mobile conversations with co-workers and family members alike. Desperate to hide the nature of his journey from his wife and children, he alternates between restraint and calamity, fervently striving to calm the anxieties of his various entangled contacts.
Written and directed by Steven Knight (“Easter Promises”, “Peaky Blinders”), “Locke” is a titillating human drama bolstered by a powerhouse performance from the always-dependable Hardy. He brings Knight’s tale of desperation and actualization to full realization, delivering a full body of razor-sharp dialogue to the screen in a sublimely naturalistic manner. Underappreciated upon release in 2013, it’s a major sleeper film primed for newfound appreciation.
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