This isn’t a film you can “like” or “love”, but it is a film you can respect and be compelled to watch.
Boy is this a tough one; it is one of those films that floors you after watching it.
The film follows Joseph, a grizzled man who is tormented by overwhelming rage that has destroyed his past and threatens to consume him completely. His brooding, bleak existence is altered when he meets Hannah, a shop owner who’s strong faith and utter selflessness could be his redemption. What we find however, is that in this self-destructive world, both are sides of the same coin.
Tyrannosaur is like watching a car crash at times. It is mesmerising in its crushingly bleak storyline, but also with its actor’s performances. Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman give their startlingly strong yet perilously unhinged characters realism that you cannot help but relate to in some way.
Joseph’s anger and rage is uncontrolled, random and often completely unjustified, yet at times (especially beside Hannah’s unwavering forgiveness) it is necessary. Hannah’s own story plays out even more, showing how a dangerous world can prey on those who can only care and tolerate the wickedness of others.
It is a tough film to watch and I recommend some preparation before watching it. I knew a little before going into it and I still wasn’t fully prepared – this is a film where the happiest we see our characters is at a party after a funeral! Some may say that the characters are overly forced in their emotions, that it is played up for dramatic effect. Maybe it is, but compared to the 2004 film Crash, I actually found these performances morbidly realistic.
It isn’t a film I enjoyed, but it is a fascinating look at the darkest of humanity and the radically different ways individuals attempt to deal with injustices in a world they cannot control, and even as they do, no solution is necessarily the right one.
I don’t imagine I will be buying it any time soon… but I am glad I watched it!
Additional Marshmallows: As a début feature film for director Paddy Considine, he couldn’t do much better than this!