Keep your head down, keep running, never stop. The mantra of Locke and the theme of the film; a concise example of the tradition of hero mythology as expressed by author Joseph Campell in ‘Hero With a Thousand Faces’. Locke is an everyday hero facing what seems like insurmountable problems.
The narrative is kept linear and simple. I found myself investing in the future of Locke’s building project, as well as engaging with concrete on an emotional level. We are introduced to several characters who are filtered in and out through a car-phone. Olivia Colman as Bethan is typically excellent.
Thomas Hardy does a superb job of carrying the film on his shoulders. Which even though consists mainly of telephone conversations inside a car, was never boring because these dynamically switch between his personal and work life. There was also a third aspect of his life that drove its collapse, and added further intrigue. I wasn’t sure about the need for the frequent monologue conversations with his dead father, which I guess were supposed to give us an insight into Locke’s character, but for me somewhat removed the reality. However, I found the conversations with Locke’s sons to be a real emotional necessity in order to invest in his fate. I was particularly moved by one of these conversations at the end with the use of football as an analogy.
Distributor Lionsgate should be happy with the opening weekend box office result of £251,000 and a decent screen average of £2,128 from 118 cinemas. I’m not surprised it has done OK. Go see it if you want to support competitive British films. Small budget – big idea.