Freitag, 20. Juni 2014


British writer/director Steven Knight's "Locke", set entirely in a car on a freeway drive and featuring one sole actor, feels slight overall but deserves to be lauded for its ambitious approach, accomplished screenplay and a riveting lead performance.

As with all movies which set such steep logistic restrictions on themselves, the danger of it being just a gimmick is real. In this case, the movie can't avoid the fatigue of repetition once the novelty of the conceit wears off. However, as with the script, which also shows signs of tiredness getting caught in loops of telephone conversations circling around but one essential conflict that's not exactly sophisticated, a tingling sense of meaning and profundity comes to its rescue at the end of the ride, when some doors are closed and others opened. It's less mind-blowing insight than an unassuming, quietly affecting remark on life, the randomness and transience of it, and it's done with intelligent writing, amplified by the deliberately enclosed physical and temporal environment.

Tom Hardy shows formidable range and undeniable star charisma as the titular driver. His character's predicament, as I have hinted at, doesn't necessarily come with dramatically high stakes. But he manages to draw you into the private struggle of someone curiously particular through convincing, naturalistic body language and measured, emotive facial expressions. When all is said and done, the movie is still too limited in its reach and intensity for my taste, but for the distinctive qualities mentioned above and the easy confidence with which the director brings them all together, it nonetheless offers a rather stylish, calmly reflective kick.

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