Two great leads, too smart, too quick, waxing philosophic in the nadir of their relationship as they are stuck cohabitating until the end of London’s first lockdown. Is Locked Down about the haphazard heist in its third act? No, of course not. It’s almost a silly bit of Harrod’s advertisement tacked on to a timely one-location film about discovery and romance during pandemic times.
Zoom and Skype have quickly become a part of television and film produced in the last year, and Locked Down uses these devices well, with strong appearances by Dulé Hill, Sir Ben Kingsley, Ben Stiller, and Mindy Kaling. I do wonder if all these stories produced now, about now will have staying power.
But Chiwetel Ejiofor and Anne Hathway are both magnificent as a couple whose relationship has died with much left to say to each other and learn about themselves.
For some people, Locked Down will read as overly dramatic, with dialog that is overly sophisticated and clunky even as it’s rendered with ease by two phenomenal actors. For others, it will read as literary or theatrical and quotable. For me, it’s too well acted, well made, and well paced to fall entirely flat, although I find myself wishing it had the conviction to have a far smaller third act. Having a daring, wild project where our leads work together ensure their rekindling and reconciliation feels great. Having that be an almost ridiculous set of circumstances leading to a diamond heist was maybe not the right wild project for my tastes.