Tom Hardy plays Ivan Locke a man whose life revolves around concrete, his wife and his sons. However on the night we meet him in Steven Knights ‘Locke’ he has made a decision which will change his life forever.

Ivan is a welsh construction worker and is on the motorway as the film follows his fateful journey. He is alone in the car, but is in regular contacted with the characters from his life; his wife, his co-workers and his sons. There is one more person contacting him, and this is the one that throws everything up in the air.

As these phone calls come and go, a story builds of this mans life and what the future may hold for him. Ivan seems to be a pragmatic and good man, but there is a darkness to his past that leads him down a path that he may later regret. All the while he is trying to do the right thing and be a better man, but will his family ever see him the same way again?

The idea of just watching a man talking on the phone in a car may not sound like the most riveting of stories, but believe me Knight has created a tense theatrical world within the five door 4×4.

As one should expect by now, Tom Hardy is excellent and can easily carry a film. However, this is a challenge for any actor, and he surpasses what you would think was possible to convey while just driving down a motorway. Having seen Hardy as such dominating and large characters previously (Bane, Bronson) it is nice to watch him in this intimate setting. His subtlety of emotion is excellent, and you will find yourself at the edge of your seat as the claustrophobia builds.

Locke is a triumph in script writing that allows for such an intense and daring film.

You can see Locke on 28 July and 2 August in Auckland as well as other dates around the country as part of NZIFF.

4.5 starsReviewed by Ingrid Grenar

5 stars