Friday, December 2, 2011

Box Office Review - Tyrannosaur

Tyrannosaur is a movie about anger, and violence. It shows that anger and violence comes in many different forms, sometimes justified, and sometimes not.

The first time we see Joseph [Peter Mullan] in the film, in a fit of rage he kicks to death his own dog. It is never known why he is so angry, but to be sure, it had nothing to do with his dog. The next scene shows Joseph slowly carrying his dog home, then the next morning burying it in his yard. This isn’t easy watching the main character of a film committing a horrible act, especially at the beginning of a film, but the opening few scenes perfectly portray Joseph as a character. He is shown as a man capable of extreme brutality, though not incapable of showing compassion. This is important to know once the main story gets going. After a rage incident at a bar, Joseph stumbles into a thrift store run by a very Christian woman named Hannah [Olivia Colman]. The two end up developing a strange friendship, and it is revealed that Hannah has an extremely abusive husband played by Eddie Marsan.

If ever there was a character that deserved to meet a horrible, horrible end, it is the one played by Eddie Marsan. Before the character is even shown on screen, I hated him. Marsan has done many good performances before this, and his performance on Tyrannosaur is no different. Though his good side is never shown, it can be assumed that he is the type of man who can show himself as being good while in actuality he is a monster. In contrast, Joseph as played by Peter Mullan is a character who is completely honest. While his inability to control his anger makes him seem like somewhat of a brute, there is no evil inside him. The idea that this character is attempting to change his life is obvious, though it is never explicitly laid out in the movie. Mullan does little things throughout the film depending on who he is interacting that shows his character’s humanity. Stuck in between the uncomfortably evil performance given by Eddie Marsan and Peter Mullan′s very calculated performance, is actress Olivia Colman. She shows some incredible range as the character Hannah, and gives the most complex performance in the movie. Immediately I cared for her character, so it was hard not to feel uncomfortable during the more graphic scenes in the film.

Uncomfortable is probably an understatement here, as some of the scenes are extremely disturbing. The spousal abuse shown in the movie is very realistic, and pushes things to the limit of what I would be willing to view. These scenes never get overly graphic, but the malice in the scenes makes them painful to sit through. So painful in fact, I doubt I would be willing to sit through this movie anytime soon.

Tyrannosaur is the directorial debut of the actor Paddy Considine and he shows the experience of a filmmaker with a few films already behind him. The performances given by the actors are all confident and gutsy performances that should be applauded. All this confidence makes for a film that is effective, even though it isn’t an easy viewing experience. The film is emotionally devastating and inhabited my mind for days after. For sure this wont be for everyone, but it is an interesting and complex viewing experience.

A Gold Banana

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