LOCKED DOWN (2021) – A case of being trapped by circumstances


Rating: ⭐⭐

Perhaps its befitting and a reflection of the times, for the first official 2021 movie release reviewed, to take place in a world that is grappling with the pandemic. However, I am not sure about you, but, the idea of watching something about the pandemic during the time when all of us are struggling with the movement control order (MCO) is not exactly something I would deem as desirable escapism. The good news is that Locked Down is light comedy and for the most part, we will probably be able to relate to how the main characters grapples with lock down. Hopefully, enough for us to find the humour in it as well.

One of the key draws of Locked Down is its casting of Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave). With a movie of this nature where much of the screen time is focus on just these two main characters engaged in conversation, the chemistry and performance need to be strong. Fortunately the film makers got this right. Anne and Chiwetel play a couple in London, struggling with not only the lock down but also with their relationship. Then, from some unlikely chain of events, they find themselves faced with the temptation of executing a heist on one of London’s premier department stores, the Harrods! I had the most problems with this portion of the movie as it just felt too contrived and improbable.

The constraints of filming during the pandemic can be felt throughout the film as much of the set is confined to the home of the couple, and interactions with others are over Skype. The few opportunities when the action does take place outside felt like a breath of fresh air. A rather stark reminder of how it feels in real life!

To be fair, director Doug Liman and writer Steven Knight did a decent job in coming up with some light hearted and hopefully something that many can relate to and laugh about, in these troubled times. But whether this is something I would want to watch right at this moment while I am coped up in my own lock down, is debatable. Perhaps the film may resonate better with audiences a couple of years down the road when hopefully, we would all have the pandemic behind us, and we can look back in amusement at what we all had to go through.

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