2 out of 5 stars
COVID-19 has managed to change everything worldwide, including the film industry, especially the making of movies. Many filmmakers have had to move to areas of the world that are less affected by the pandemic. In contrast, others have had to think creatively about how they can tell their stories. One solution was to create a story that uses the lockdown situation as the backdrop for a quirky break-up tale that manages to incorporate a heist in the mix.
During the recent lockdown in London, director Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow) incorporated this isolated state to tell the story of Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Linda (Anne Hathaway). They are a couple who have been passionately in love. Still, over the years their passion had diminished due to changes in their lives. This tension escalates as they remain in their home when the pandemic impacts their city and the world. They struggle to deal with each other as their relationship looks to be at its end.
Paxton’s work has come to an end and Linda’s has become unbearable, even though she is on the upward trajectory at her corporation. As the tensions build within their townhouse, an opportunity comes up that causes them to consider the direction of their relationship and even causes them to question their morality. Linda discloses that a £3 million diamond is in the vault at Harrods that happened to be the next delivery that Paxton has been assigned to pick up for his latest job. She is to oversee its transfer while he is meant to do the driving. They have to decide what to do with this bizarre coincidence that has the potential to net them a significant amount of wealth, if managed correctly. They must determine if they will ‘live in the moment’ and do something that may indefinitely change their lives.
This film may prove to be more relevant to people’s lives than anything else in cinemas right now. Despite its creative methods of storytelling, something must have happened in the editing process. It could be blamed on the bulk of the film occurring on Zoom or the lack of chemistry between Ejiofor and Hathaway. Still, there is more to this story. Even though Liman tries to tap into the discombobulating nuances of the real-world pandemic isolation, the narrative journey is hard to follow. Especially since it seems like a long setup for the potential heist, but it turns into an excruciatingly long psychological analysis of the lead characters.
Locked Down is a brave venture that should be applauded for doing all they could with the challenges of this bizarre time in history. As Liman and company incorporated a multitude of comedic talent worldwide to be part of the project, it had to have been a logistical nightmare to produce. When you have Ben Kingley, Stephen Merchant, Mindy Kaling, Ben Stiller and more attached to this film through various technology elements, credit must be given for having a go. This means we need to allow for a bit of understanding when judging this project, but in the end, it is reminiscent of this COVID era. This disjointed film is less than inspiring and amounts to very little in conclusion despite the attempts for creativity to come forth during history.
REEL DIALOGUE: Are we alone on this journey called life?
Locked Down proves that it can be easy to feel isolated even though you might be living with something 24/7. Isolation can be a physical reality, but for many it is truly a state of mind. We can seek out solace in personal relationships or through technology, but these things do eventually have limited satisfaction.
This deeply philosophical query can be answered by saying that God is there for us at all times. The answer for mankind is to merely turn around and acknowledge His presence. During times of joy or loneliness, God is there for us and provides a relationship unlike any other.
Where do you start? Begin with the first book of the New Testament - Matthew 28:20 - ‘behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ and then go back to the beginning of the story and introduce yourself to the person of Jesus. Matthew
You may realise that you were never really alone and you never need to feel that way again…