Anne Hathaway made a movie during the pandemic and it’s kind of crushing it right now. While other films were delaying things, pushing back filming and other pieces of production over these last many months, she got on board a flick that actually got written, financed, and filmed during this time. And now that flick is one of the most-streamed movies in the world. This past week saw Locked Down hit the top-ten in the world on HBO Max, getting as high on number four on that platform.
Locked Down stars Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Okafor as a frustrated couple riding out the pandemic lockdown in London. They had planned to break up and go their separate ways, but then the whole Covid-19 thing happens and they find themselves basically trapped with each other. There’s a heavy sense of current reality in their relationship and life with the couple part of quarantine Zoom calls, struggling for space in their flat and riding out an indefinite timeline of staying home during the pandemic. Here, check out the trailer for Locked Down.
And from the stress of their frustration and dissolving relationship as well as the helplessness around their current situation, they hatch a plan to steal an expensive diamond. Anne Hathaway is a jewelry store executive who believes she understands the security protocols enough to lift the diamond. And Okafor is a driver who will have access to the jewel on one of his deliveries. Out of desperation and a sense of justice, they decide to lift the jewel and make out with the profits while also giving some of the cash to charity.
You can tell from the trailer that Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Okafor are mostly trying to keep things light here. They are taking a premise that likely speaks to a lot of people’s frustrations during this time and making it into something of a caper at the same time. It’s a valiant effort to take a moment in time that upended the world and bring something people can relate to while also speaking to the larger issues.
Locked Down is directed by Doug Liman who has massive hits like Edge of Tomorrow, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity under his belt already. Steven Knight handled the script after penning films like Pawn Sacrifice and The Girl in the Spider’s Web. The two ended up partnering up on the film in September and were able to secure financing at a time when the certainty and stability around movie production felt like an enormous gamble. Sure, some regulations were starting to lift, but it’s still been very difficult to find places to shoot movies that weren’t in lockdown. They were able to bring in Anne Hathaway as the star and others followed.
The rest of the cast is actually pretty strong all things considered. Joining Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Okafor are Ben Kingsley, Mindy Kaling, Stephen Merchant, and Dule Hill. Some come only in the form of those aforementioned Zoom pandemic calls. Though some were live and in person around the actual stealing of the diamond.
Though it’s seen popularity on streaming, the movie didn’t hit all that strongly with critics. It’s currently sitting at 45% on Rotten Tomatoes and 44 on Metacritic. Reviews trended a little negative with the pervasive opinion being that the film failed to capture the true emotion and despair of the lockdown it’s trying to recreate. Some felt the relationship between Anne Hathaway and Okafor came off as strained, but not in the way it was intended. There was a feeling of hollowness to the film that missed the mark when trying to speak to an actual locked-down crowd. This played out for some viewers as well with the 31% Audience Score actually sitting even lower than the critics.
Locked Down was the kind of movie that just basically popped up out of nowhere, got some big names attached, and went out there to shoot. That’s pretty rare and outside the typical timeline for bigger productions. It certainly didn’t appear to be part of the long-term picture for Anne Hathaway. Though she did have another HBO Max release during the pandemic as well with The Witches. That one also failed to hit with critics.
Next up for Anne Hathaway is a string of movies that have quite a bit of range. She’ll star in Bum’s Rush about her relationship with a pet dog, voiced by Bill Murray. There’s also James Gray’s Armageddon Time about 1980s Queens. And she was just announced to star in The Lifeboat based on the Charlotte Rogan novel of the same name.
So Anne Hathaway is more than a little busy over the next few years with films. But check out Locked Down and see if it speaks to your experience during this time. Find out if you can connect with the characters’ feelings about this crazy moment in history.