Director Steven Knight on Why Locke Is No Ordinary Thriller

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Courtesy of A24.
Steven Knight's takes an unconventional approach to drama and suspense in Locke.
The Phoenix Film Festival kicks off a week long of movies and parties tonight with the screening of Steven Knight's Locke. With Tom Hardy as the lead and only visible actor in the film, which takes place in real time over an hour-and-a-half drive through the U.K., the film has the star power behind it to gain some major buzz. While the trailer pegs the movie as a thriller, Knight explains why audiences checking the film out at the festival shouldn't expect explosions, death threats, or assassinations from his film.

See also: 10 Must-See Movies at the Phoenix Film Festival 2014

Without giving away too much, Knight's film Locke centers around Ivan Locke, an ordinary man with a family and a job in construction played by Hardy. The drive he takes and the barrage of phone calls he receives during it alter his life forever -- and not necessarily for the better. His character's unwavering concept of rightness in the situation is reflected in his name, according to Knight.

"He's locked into his situation," he says. "It's also a reference to the philosopher [John] Locke, who was the first to present the idea of the individual over the group."

While Knight admits that for a thriller the main dilemma for Locke may seem trivial, he wanted to explore drama in the context of everyday events and relatable circumstances. Although Hardy's portrayal of the character as a working class Welshman was spot on, in general, his character felt anything but relatable, and his decisions were intensely frustrating in some parts.

"I did fear it would alienate female audiences," he says. "It's a story about men and their decisions and responsibilities."

However, Knight says at the U.K. and American screenings this hasn't been the case.

Location Info

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Harkins Scottsdale 101

7000 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Film


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