Doing things without expectations is always good: you disintegrate any chance of deception, to start with; and anything good you get makes those things infinitely better than expected. Only advantages. So I tried something like that on Saturday. I went to the movies. And all I knew was that we were seeing a thriller called Locke.
Cool. The film starts and the intensity is high since the first minute. A well chosen situation put us in a really open journey that could finish anyway. I got immediately interested. 90 minutes later, that feeling was still there. It was like almost nothing had happened. Hmmm that’s not good, Mr. Knight! When the film ends, we keep hoping that there will be a big turn of the events, the story keeps building up but at no point we reached anything close to thrill, I’m afraid… In fact, probably that was the problem: the only expectation I had was the film to be a thriller, and that one, well… proved the critics wrong. Locke is no doubt a drama, a very positive drama, a story where the main character’s determination, assertiveness and positivity make him succeed in making things right (at least what he understands as such).
(Source of the pic © IM Global)
The best part of the whole script is Locke’s attitude: under pressure, with everything going on at the same time and without one second to think, he keeps sorting things out from his car, without hardly the glimpse of a doubt. He is the ideal Anglo-saxon successful man -and this is specially clear for someone who comes from a Latin background as I am: never say anything negative, always find the next practical step, turn any situation into something you can take profit from. Tom Hardy gives a very good performance and hey, it’s hard to take the whole weight of a movie. Chapeau for him.
And that was all what the film was giving me. I’m pretty sure that some people may have liked as well how clever the format is: super cheap, with only 1 actor, 1 very-well-sponsored car, some shots of motorways and a bunch of supporting roles with their voices off. I agree, it’s a great format, but for me it wasn’t that new: in 2010 there was a Spanish-American movie that won a bunch of prizes, among which best original script. It was called ‘Buried’.
Buried was a real thriller. The claustrophobic environment, the lack of light, the time pressure… all helped to keep us from the first minute uncomfortably seated and pushing to try and help the guy get out of the coffin. Well, yes, it all happens INSIDE a coffin. There’s only the coffin, the guy, a lighter, a mobile phone, and some roles’ off voices again. Oh, and a snake that was the only mistake in the film. This movie not only moved us, it was also sourly critical in its own conception: the greed of terrorists, the hypocrisy of diplomats, the lack of ethics of big corporations, all of which don’t have any respect for a person's life, as long as they can reach their goals…
(Source of the pic © Versus Entertainment)
I remember very well how much I enjoyed that film, and how deep it got me. The editing is really good, and the whole movie is incredibly well looked after. I had thought, I had gasped, I had suffered and hoped and prayed by the time it was over. The format was the same, but Rodrigo Cortés and Chris Sparling took it to its last consequences, and that made the film exceptional. Locke didn’t dare to go that far. It felt like it could have been a very good film, but without the adrenalin and anguish, it didn’t reach any glory for me.
So yes, go see Locke as well if you like ‘alright movies’, but definitely try to see Buried, you won’t regret it for a second. Trust me, for there are situations where it’s better to be ‘Buried’ than only ‘Locked’.