Life During the Lockdown
By Nirupa Mohan Dore Ceylon Today Features
Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor take centre stage, as Linda and Paxton, in the one-of-a-kind and timely, heist comedy, Locked Down. Set in London amidst the pandemic, the story features the duo as a disgruntled couple who are waiting for the lockdown to end, to go their separate ways. The film with the tagline ‘Some people unravel faster than others,’ highlights everyday life during the lockdown, like wearing masks, randomly watching people buy more toilet paper than they can ever use, the need to get fully dressed with make-up and all for online meetings from their home spaces, even down to dealing with letting go off staff, and the many other situations that can’t be avoided.
The frustrations of being in a lockdown –forced to live in the same house, as a couple desperate to leave, is what the movie’s core plot. Meanwhile, an amateur attempt at a heist in the film, is what gives it an edge in terms of storyline, given that most of the film looks like they are home, while making video calls. The film’s dialogue manages to keep the story flowing with calm pacing, as the couple navigates their way through the challenges of staying home together and feeling bored, while having their own personal drama in the mix. Though there is no plot depth, the script manages to deliver it humorously.
Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor deliver excellent performances that easily carry the story, though they are supported by a star-studded cast, who play short but prominent roles. Dule Hill stars as David, Lucy Boynton as Charlotte, Ben Stiller as Guy, Ben Kingsley as Malcolm, Mindy Kaling as Kate, Katie Leung as Natasha, Jazmyn Simon as Maria, Stephen Merchant as Michael, Sam Spruell as Martin, Claes Bang as Essien and Frances Ruffelle as Byrdie. The 118-minute film by director Doug Liman, working together with producers Michael Lesslie, Alison Winter and P.J. van Sandwijk, was made in collaboration with production companies Hypnotic, Nebulastar, AGC Studios and Storyteller Productions, with a budget of three million dollars.
The movie received mixed reviews from critics, with 42 per cen featured on Rotten Tomatoes, a similar 42 per cent on Metacritic and a moderate 5.2/10 on IMDb, with many appreciating the fact that Locked Down was written and filmed in the middle of a pandemic, with a starstudded cast who managed to add their short roles into the film in different ways, in what looks like video calls. At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is running rampant around the world, this film focuses on the impact it has had on daily life in London, thus making it relevant filmmaking that captures this period in history.
This, new age pandemic entertainment is a film that some will find amusing, while others may feel that it needs more plot depth, instead of solely concentrating on the dialogue and the highstakes heist. “Rated R for language throughout and some drug material” this is a surprisingly strange comedy, that might just be seen as a timely piece of history, captured on camera, with the aim of delivering a simple story, supported by a strong cast of talented individuals, who aim to easily entertain.