Tyrannosaur film review

Director                     Paddy Considine

Writer                        Paddy Considine

Lead                           Peter Mullan, Olivia Coleman

Budget                       £750,000

Box Office                  £396,930

Tomatometer             83%


In Paddy Considine’s directorial debut, Tyrannosaur sees him explore the bleak and very abrupt life in the North of England, starring Peter Mullan, Olivia Coleman and an especially against type Eddie Marsan.

Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a very aggressive and alone man, still coming to terms with his wife’s passing and therefore has become aimless, particularly after the death of his dog. He befriends a local charity shop worker, Hannah (Olivia Coleman) and discovers that she is being abused by her husband, James (Eddie Marsan) who, for example, urinates on Hannah to wake her up on one occasion.

If you’re in any doubt that you’re watching a very honest and perhaps over-bleak view of the world after the opening sequence between Joseph and his dog, then you’re very misguided and definitely in the wrong place. The opening sequence gives you a warning: if you don’t like this, leave the cinema or turn off the DVD player because you will not like the rest.

I had a lecturer up in Edinburgh who called this film, among other kitchen sink realist dramas, ‘poverty porn’. I’d admit that potentially films like Kes, I Daniel Blake and The Selfish Giant could lean towards ‘poverty porn’ but this film doesn’t particularly belong in that class. And even those that could be categorised as such, I, Daniel Blake and Kes are dealt with so well by a master in his field, Ken Loach, that they become a film on the human condition rather that pointing and staring at poor people.

Eddie Marsan, I know, has played vindictive and horrible characters in the past but they are few and far between. Honestly, the nature of his character was perhaps one of the more shocking elements of the film. Olivia Coleman, on the other hand, plays the character of Hannah absolutely fantastically as she always does. From Broadchurch to Peep Show, Coleman has such a wide range and this fits perfectly into her CV.

As Duncan Jones did for Moon in 2009, Paddy Considine won the BAFTA for Oustanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer but the film didn’t venture far outside of the British Isles.

Tyrannosaur might be too bleak for some but it is a very honest take on the differences, or lack thereof, between working class and middle class lives with three stunning performances. For somebody’s directorial debut, it is a very brave choice by Considine.

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