The Essential Nature of Simple Costume in Locke

Locke (2013, costume design by Nigel Egerton) is a film unique in its restrictions – it takes place in real time, has only one character and only one setting. Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is driving somewhere important, and over the course of the film’s 85 minute running time, his life gradually begins to crumble around him as he desperately tries to salvage it.

The controlled environment – the inside of his car – and the fact that the only character we actually see is Ivan himself means that interest in him is the only way of maintaining an audience’s attention with such limited visual stimulation. Ivan is the only character whose appearance is prescribed to us. All other characters are just voices on the car phone, giving the audience free reign to imagine each of these characters in any way. They will be completely different in the minds of one viewer to the next.
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