Friday, 5 April 2013
Paddy Considine's TYRANNOSAUR
The impressive debut film from Paddy Considine is a potent character study dissecting the virulent effects of violence. It gets under the skin and pulls the audience into the hole that these people find themselves in with such vigour that it's a devastating experience to watch. Living near to where this is set doesn't help but forget the accents and specific location because this is a very human film that cuts to the bone with depressing effectiveness. And no, this probably isn't the film to watch to unwind or for a first date.
Peter Mullan is astounding as Joseph, a widower who has an addiction to violence for which he pays dearly. The film opens with an event that forces Joe to start confronting his fury and through a series of events he meets Olivia Colman who also carries the legacy of violence. Colman with whom I'm more familiar with in comedies and a brief cameo in Doctor Who is a revelation in Tyrannosaurus standing shoulder to shoulder with both Mullan and Eddie Marsan who plays her husband. These performances mesmerise and power the film.
But despite being bleak, visceral and painfully honest, the film does have its share of hope but it doesn't come cheap and uncertainty lingers even through the brightest times. I mentioned in another review this week for Compliance how it was unlikely that I would ever watch it again and how difficult it was to watch. Well, this film isn't quite as tense (at least not in the same way) but it is hard going. With Compliance I was incredulous and frustrated at what was happening but with Tyrannosaurus, it's all too common what these people are going through and that made it even more challenging.
I look forward to seeing what Paddy Considine does next. He's demonstrated strong writing and directorial skills with Tyrannosaurus like a seasoned veteran. Likewise, I hope Olivia Colman gets more dramatic roles after her stellar work here.
So to sum things up, it is a well crafted, potent tour-de-force that is exhausting but relevant with strong performances and a script that is a meticulous, unflinching study of violence.