Locke (2013)

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Warning: contains spoliers.

Coming up with ideas for a new project has me looking at films with strict parameters this week and, more specifically, films shot in tight spaces.

I have a list of films to research including Buried, Phone Booth and more; http://www.imdb.com/list/ls008171822/ 

But the first film I managed to get my hands on was Locke.

Set entirely in a car on a night time drive to London the film was shot in, almost, real time. A mean feat for any production team, but the clever use of constant phone calls keeps the films pace, and the audience’s interest, while revealing the films narrative. 

To watch, the film is stunning. The beautiful use of bokeh, shallow depth of field and clever image layering. The cinematography is perfect. Taking, what could easily be, a very dull setting and making it a truly beautiful one.

The voices are perfect on the other end of the phone. We fall in love with Donald’s character and can easily picture him despite never seeing him in the film. We feel for the sad, disappointed sons and witness the wife’s slow, emotional breakdown.

In comparison, for most of the film despite being ever present, we don’t really feel anything for the main character, Locke. He’s like a viewer on the outside, looking in, without emotion. He has a list of jobs to do and must stick to them, and this seems to be all that matters to him. But is this what is really holding him together? If he breaks away from this ‘script’ will he fall apart? The only passion we see from him is when he talks about concrete, like it’s a living breathing thing, and this is when we finally start to warm to him.

At the end of the film we have no real answers, no twists, no surprises. So was it worth watching?

For the cinematography alone and, just maybe, the dodgy welsh accent too.

 

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