DRAMA; 1hr 24min
STARRING: Tom Hardy, voice of Ruth Wilson
Locked and loaded: Hardy
It takes an acute screen presence to carry an entire film with just the interplay of light and shadow over your face, but that’s what the transfixing Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) is more than up for as writer-director Steven Knight’s cornered construction overseer, Ivan Locke.
Ivan is having an horrendous night, driving in his BMW to London down a sinisterly impersonal motorway into a crossroads that looks set to undo him. His timing is terrible, too: the following morning, he’s expected onsite for the biggest concrete pour in European history. That he won’t be there is causing his panic-struck co-workers to wig out. Responding to everyone on his car phone, Ivan sounds as solid as the foundations he creates, still, he’s struggling under the weight of his disintegrating world. “I want to know,” he tells his distraught wife of 15 years (voiced by Wilson), “that I will be driving back when the sun comes up.”
But will he? Profoundly alone in his speeding, glow-worm washed bubble, Ivan is also struggling with himself. Mesmeric and balletic, Knight’s tight-reined capsule packs an incremental yet thumping emotional punch.