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British Film Review: Tyrannosaur
Tyrannosaur tells the story of Joseph (Peter Mullan) a man who is so filled with rage, violence seems able to spill right out of him at any moment. When he is not taking his anger out on local neighbours or beloved household pets, Joseph is usually found at the pub or out in the streets, shouting and rambling like a madman. The kind of character most will find only too recognisable.
Peter Mullan plays Joseph excellently. Throughout the film you can visibly see the conflict he has within himself. Although able to participate in bouts of mindless violence, for every punch, kick and vile word comes an almost instant sign of regret or sorrow for his actions. It seems then, almost like fate that in a time where he has truly hit rock bottom, he should meet a good natured, Christian charity shop worker, Hannah (Olivia Colman). The pairs’ friendship gets off to a rocky start, Joseph not necessarily being a man of God, sees Hannah as a middle class ‘do-gooder’ with no real knowledge of the world and what it means to suffer. It seems though, he could not be further from the truth. Hannah’s dark story comprises some of the most disturbing content of the film.
For Paddy Considine‘s writing and directing debut it was definitely a brave choice, maybe even an obvious one for the long time friend of Shane Meadows.However, although Tyrannosaur is definitely a grim look at the shocking problems that can be faced by any class, it’s definitely not the usual ‘kitchen sink, shaky camera’ style that we are all used to seeing, opting instead for Tyrannosaur to be much more of a cinematic experience.
Based on his own Bafta award winning short ‘Dog Altogether’, it was only a matter of time before Paddy put his directing talents fully to the test with his first feature length film. With such positive feedback already from critics and multiple awards at this year’s Sundance Festival, it seems likely that this will be the first of many directing credits to be added to his résumé.
Tyrannosaur is both expertly directed and perfectly cast. You may leave the cinema feeling a little depressed, but satisfied that you have witnessed beautifully filmed thought-provoking cinema.
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