Locke Blu-ray Review
I’m always a bit leery of films with a gimmick like, say, having only one actor on screen for the entire duration of the film. If unchecked, this type of technical stunting can quickly go from interesting story-telling device into a distraction, breaking one of the basic tenets of filmmaking. Filmmaker Steven Knight (who also wrote and directed REDEMPTION starring Jason Statham) uses this device, a single actor on a car ride while his world unravels, that could have easily distracted from the narrative arc. But does it? Is LOCKE worth your time and money?
LOCKE chooses to focus on the intimate, even mundane, details of an everyman who slowly unravels over the course of a single car ride. When the film opens we see our main character, Ivan Locke, leaving a construction scene. The sun has already set and he appears haggard but there is a sense of satisfaction that almost instantly disappears the moment he enters his car. Setting out, Mr. Locke comes to a stoplight and prepares to turn left. But when the light changes Locke freezes, the switches his blinker to turn right. That turn is a single choice that will alter Locke’s future forever.
Over the next 80 minutes, as Locke travels from Birmingham to London, his entire world is stripped away and we are left with a man bare and grasping for straws. We get the feeling Ivan Locke has lived his life with measured precision up to this point. But with a single phone call he chooses to turn his life around. Most movies that take place in confined spaces (PHONE BOOTH and BURIED, to name a few) have deadly stakes and an important timeline. LOCKE eschews these norms and provides something altogether different – an intimate character study of a man as his life unravels.
LOCKE succeeds in its venture primarily thanks to the incredible work of Tom Hardy, the only actor we ever see on screen. Hardy is incredibly talented with a wide range of roles under his belt including his work in BRONSON (as British convict Charles Bronson), WARRIOR, and even THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Even with that pedigree it is still difficult to fathom just what it means to have a single actor on screen for the entirety of the film. LOCKE is studious and careful, though, giving credence to the realism of the story even while casting a highly stylized view on his quest.
If you had to watch a single actor on screen for the entirety of a 90 minute film, who would it be? With a movie like this you always wonder if that kind of magic can happen again. The beauty of LOCKE is in the simple story and poignant performances of not only Hardy but also the supporting cast who appear only through their voices over the Bluetooth in his car. But surprisingly LOCKE works and while not a ‘fun’ movie it is an incredible ride.
LOCKE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2.40:1) The video for LOCKE is beautiful and stylized, immersive without being pretentious.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) LOCKE features a subtle, brilliant soundtrack with mixing that keeps everyone’s dialogue clear despite a large quantity being over the phone on a speaker. It is immersive and edgy without losing the reality of the film.
Audio Commentary with Director Steven Knight (01:24:49) LOCKE features a very nice, if a bit refined, audio commentary with writer/director Steven Knight. Knight gives some interesting tidbits but the pacing is just a little bit off.
Ordinary Unraveling: Making LOCKE (09:37) The cast and crew discuss working on LOCKE and the specific decisions they made. Most interesting is the discussion of shooting the entire film every single night for six nights, including the actors on the phone, and then cutting the film together.
The LOCKE Blu-ray also features an UltraViolet Digital HD Digital Copy of the film.