Indeed, I thought it was thoroughly enjoyable. I’m a huge fan of minimalist storytelling (both time and space-wise), so Locke felt practically tailor-made for me.
It’s a deceptively simple stunt – one man, one car, one hands-free cell phone device – but its complexities kick in almost immediately. In less talented hands, the film would’ve probably been unwatchable, but Hardy is an onion of acting, offering layers upon layers of inner life. Being confined to a microscopic canvas does nothing to reduce the vastness of his performance - more than ever before, his face and voice are like finely-tuned instruments, subtle but wholly effective and satisfying. And the same goes for the other actors in the film, who arguably have an even more difficult task: being without being seen. To be able to conjure personality, personal history, through voice alone is a dramatic test that I don’t think many could pass as successfully as the actors here have. My hat’s off to all of them.
I should also mention that it’s a surprisingly intense movie. Because we are trapped in that car for the duration of the entire film, there is never any relief for our tension. There are no other sets, no other characters we can focus our attention on, nothing that can really distract you from the moral struggle at hand. Instead the tension builds up continuously to almost claustrophobic levels.
Overall, I found it superbly acted, and competently written and directed. It’s not a film I plan to ever rewatch, but the experience I had with it was nothing if not highly entertaining.
(and thank you! I don’t think my opinions are of much worth or heavy on insights, but it’s lovely to know that someone can find them of some interest anyway)