Friday, 16 October 2015

I've Just Seen: Tyrannosaur (2011)

Tyrannosaur (2011)
Director: Paddy Considine

This film is one where the title is figurative; there are no dinosaurs on show, only the monstrous evil that dwells within humans. At the film's centre is a trio who are well acquainted with violence. Joseph (Peter Mullan), the protagonist, cannot escape his violent nature which keeps causing him grief and making him lonely. Hannah (the wonderful Olivia Coleman) is a Christian who is being badly abused by her husband (Eddie Marsan). Hannah and Joseph meet one day, and strike up a relationship that is tentative in its tenderness.

This is a difficult film to watch; the violence is savage and painful. The opening scene involves Mullan's Joseph accidently killing his own dog, an act that he instantly and horribly regrets. The domestic violence between Hannah and her husband is sickening. The performances from the main three are very good. Mullan is often scary on screen, but here there is a clear vulnerability to his character. Eddie Marsan, the least sympathetic of the three, arguably has the most difficult role, and is almost mad in his behaviour. He is very good though. Olivia Coleman is the standout, playing a woman who is wrestling with her faith and the behaviour of her husband, and trying to remain true to her kind nature.

Tyrannosaur is a very good film, certainly worth seeing. However, it is one that you may only watch once; it will stay with you, both for its violence and its performances.

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