Pandering to the pandemic has started big-time. A film written and made entirely during and revolving around the Lockdown is like making a baby just because there is a cradle in the guest room. Lockdown is born out of a place of anxiety, not love. It shows.
Two of the most charismatic actors, the American Anne Hathaway and British Chiwetel Ejiofor get together for what looks like a pretext to promote the London departmental store Harrods. That this exasperating rom-com celebrating the yawn-sambandh between two such watchable actors, written by Steven Knight who wrote 2019’s worst reviewed film Serenity (which too starred the gorgeous Hathaway) comes as no surprise.
Locked Down is a mess that cannot be explained away by the circumstances in which it was written and directed. Who asked these people to get resourceful at a time when the world shut down the enterprising spirit? This is a one-note hastily written heist story about Linda and Paxton whose marriage is on the rocks. Paxton wants nothing more than to get on his two-wheeler in the garage and revv down the roads of London. Since he can’t he goes out on the streets and recites T S Eliot’s poem and spars with his boss (Ben Kingsley, in one the many home-bound cameos) on video conference.
This film is written purely by numbers. If Ejiofor has Ben Kingsley for his boss, Hathaway must have Ben Stiller. If Kinsley is deadpan funny, Stiller is the same. If Hathaway gets five funny lines in a scene, her co-star must equal that score. The film’s bland servility to the rom-com rules is very difficult to digest.
The last 20 minutes moves to Harrods for a hasty heist episode that at least offers us the solace of some new characters, not to mention a corny homage to American author Edgar Allen Poe. Watching Hathaway and Ejiofor sparring for nearly two hours over such significant subjects as , ‘Should he be allowed to bake bread to break the lockdown boredom?’ and ‘Should she tolerate his meddlesome brother and his wife on video-con just because there is no better diversion?’ is as difficult as being indulgent towards this film just because it was made during the lockdown.
Go bake bread or speak to your brother’s family if you have extra time. Spare yourself the ennui of watching this film.
Image source: youtube/HBOmax/colliderinterviews
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