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Cast Members: Tom Hardy, Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson
Released date: April 18, 2014 (UK)
Duration: 1h 25min
Ivan Locke, a dedicated family man and successful construction manager, receives a phone call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career that sets in motion a series of events that threaten his carefully cultivated existence.
The evening before he must supervise a large concrete pour in Birmingham (the largest non-nuclear facility, non-military concrete pour in European history), construction foreman Ivan Locke learns that Bethan, a colleague from a job in Croydon with whom he had a one-night stand seven months before (which resulted in her becoming pregnant), has gone into premature labour. Despite his job responsibilities and although his wife and sons are eagerly awaiting his arrival home to watch an important football match, Locke decides to drive to London to be with Bethan during childbirth. Locke never forgave his father for abandoning him as a child, and he is determined not to make the same mistake, even though he has no relationship with, nor any particular feelings for, Bethan.
Over the course of the one and a half-hour drive from Birmingham to London, Locke holds a total of 36 phone calls with: his boss Gareth; his backup colleague Donal; Katrina—his wife of 15 years—to confess his infidelity; his sons, Eddie and Sean, who call him separately with updates on the match and (eventually) the worrisome breakdown of their mother; St. Mary’s maternity unit medical personnel, Sister Margaret then Dr. Gullu, who are working with Bethan through some troubling complications; the council head, Cassidy, and local police authority, PC Davids, required for the road closures needed to allow the 225+ concrete trucks to properly access the site; and with Bethan to reassure her during her labour. During these calls, he is fired from his job, banned from his house by his wife, and asked by his older son to please return home. He coaches his assistant Donal through preparing the pour despite some major setbacks, and has imaginary conversations with his dead father, whom he envisions (unseen onscreen) as a passenger in the car; he berates his father for abandoning Locke’s family, and vows he will not repeat that mistake. When he is close to the hospital, Bethan calls to share the cooing of the baby, having had a successful birth.
The film was shot on the course of six nights on the M6 motorway in the UK, and although the only actor that is seen in the film is Tom Hardy, all the phone calls were recorded from real-time phone conversations from a conference room in a hotel.
The critic’s consensus from Rotten Tomatoes says that the film is “A one-man show set in a single confined location, Locke demands a powerful performance — and gets it from a never-more-compelling Tom Hardy.” 91% of 212 critics rated it positively, that being 192 rating it fresh and only 20 rotten; the average rating is 7.71/10. For the audience score, out of almost 28.000 ratings, it has 72% out of 100%, giving it 3.61/5 stars.
On Metacritic, based on 37 critics, it has 81% out of 100%, 32 critics calling it positive, 5 are mixed, and no negatives. And the user score, based on 325 ratings, gave it a 7.8/10, with 267 users calling it positive, 40 mixed, and 18 negatives.
The BMW used in the film is installed with a “low fuel warning” alert and would make a noise whenever the car was running out of petrol. The noise disrupted Tom Hardy’s performance during takes, but director Steven Knight kept the actor’s frustrated reactions in the movie and substituted the car’s noise with “you have a call waiting” instead.
Ivan Locke’s cold was written into the script because actor Tom Hardy had a cold during production.
To spice things up and keep Tom Hardy on his toes, director Steven Knight would tell new things to the actors on the phone to incorporate while shooting the scenes. For example, for some takes he told Ruth Wilson, who plays Katrina Locke, to play her character like she wanted to kick Ivan from the house for a while and now she finally had the opportunity.
The film shot during the course of six nights with three cameras rolling.
The license plate on Locke’s car reads “Adios” (playing with numbers as letters) which means goodbye in Spanish and is a recurring theme in the film
During Ivan’s drive to London there were 36 phone calls. 13 outgoing, 21 incoming, 1 ignored call and 1 went to voice mail. At least half the calls ended with Ivan being hung up on or Ivan hanging up on the caller.
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