Friday, May 16, 2014


Heidi Rice talks about why script is everything... And Locke is an absolute corker of a movie experience, even with only one cast member.

Yup, you heard that right. There is only one on-screen character in the film Locke, the brilliant new drama by Dirty Pretty Things/Eastern Promises writer/director Steven Knight which my DH and I went to see last week while playing hooky together in the West End one rainy afternoon. Of course, it doesn't hurt that the one actor we see is the super-hot (in so many ways) Tom Hardy.

He plays a concrete engineer called Ivan Locke whose life has gone into freefall one night, and who is forced to make a desperate drive down the motorway to London on the eve of the biggest concrete-pouring job he has ever had to supervise, which he is now going to miss. While driving he has to talk to a number of people on the speaker phone to try and fix the seemingly unfixable. These people include - his distraught wife who he loves, his boss who he doesn't (nicknamed the Bastard, because he is one), his co-worker (who is a little prone to the cider but will have to take over the job), his teenage son and the needy, lonely woman who he is driving down to be with as she gives birth to his child...

That's all I'm going to tell you about the plot, because what happens on that drive and what we discover about Ivan, his life and how he is going to negotiate this devastating crisis is what this is all about. This film manages to be rivetting, intense, emotionally draining, uplifting, even very funny at times, without Ivan ever getting out of that car. How it remains so phenomenally entertaining is all down to Knight's superb script, his atmospheric but unpretentious direction and a cast of excellent characters perfectly realised. Because as well as Hardy's subtle, understated and quietly moving lead we have a to-die-for voice cast of character actors - Olivia Colman, Ruth Wilson, Ben Daniels, Andrew Scott, etc - playing the various points of this domestic and profession nightmare that Ivan has 90 minutes to try and untangle.

I can't recommend this film highly enough. It's one of those movies that will have you thinking - and feeling - long after the closing credits — not to mention living every tortuous mile along that motorway with Ivan Locke.

PS: For some unknown reason the trailer makes it look like a thriller ... I blame that plonker from the Telegraph.

Heidi's last ever Harlequin KISS/Modern Tempted novel - Beach Bar Baby - is out this month in the US and the UK. Get in touch on her website, her blog, her FB page or Twitter (@HeidiRomRic), as Heidi loves to natter.

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