review by Bobby Blakey
HBO MAX has been churning along bringing numerous exclusive films and of course the upcoming slate of dual releases hitting the streaming service including the most recent Wonder Woman 1984. Their latest film Locked Down starring Anne Hathaway, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dulé Hill, Jazmyn Simon and Ben Kingsley from The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow and director Doug Liman at the helm. Could this film bring a new look at the state of the worldwide lockdown or will it not be worth sheltering in place for?
Locked Down follows Linda and Paxton who find life has other plans when they are stuck at home in a mandatory lockdown just as they decide to separate. Co-habitation is proving to be a challenge, but fueled by poetry and copious amounts of wine, it will bring them closer together in the most surprising way. It’s been interesting to see not only how productions have changed due to the pandemic, but how it has started translated into the stories as well. Both Hathaway and Ejiofor have great chemistry and both bring their A game to the table. They showcase almost a theaters production type of premise with fast wit and delivery making you believe in the realism of it all.
While I have seen numerous TV sitcoms tackle the subject this is the first time I have seen a film that brings the focus to the forefront. This isn’t a story about the Coronavirus, but it is about a couple who are going through issues and forced to shelter in place together. This is probably a more realistic approach to what a lot of people might have dealt with in this situation and in turn makes for a slow burn film that works on a real level. This is where it might lose some since it is the mundane world of life as they fight, connect and everything in between trying to just get through the lock down.
The majority of the film is really just showcasing their dysfunctional relationship nd stress as they are forced to stay locked down while trying to
continue their lives. What is interesting is that this film plays up as not only a dramatic film it makes a interesting twist into heist film as well. I honestly thought it was going to feel forced in as it didn’t feel like this was an element that would work, but not only does it work it serves a bigger purpose to the film itself. This isn’t an overly exciting heist or anything, but still fun to watch. As mentioned previously the entire film plays out like it could be a stage production as well and helps with the minimalism of the locale for most of the film.
This is the kind of slow paced film that it might not work for everyone and it surely is an exercise in patience at times, but I think that plays into the world of self-isolation that they are dealing with. In the end decide for yourself and check out Locked Down available now on HBO MAX.