Tuesday 31 January 2012

Today's Review: Tyrannosaur

That's a misleading poster. Perhaps even a misleading title. But it's symbolic, yo.

Tyrannosaur is both a depressing and uplifting movie. It certainly is interesting. Peter Mullan stars as Joseph, a man with quite a temper. After losing it a few times and later regretting acting like a dick, he finds refuge in a charity shop and the woman who works there, Hannah (Olivia Colman). She is unflinchingly nice and godly to Joseph, which at first he can't stand, but eventually he warms to her offer of friendship, in hopes that he can become a better person. Trouble is Hannah has troubles of her own in the form of her abusive husband, and as the two develop their relationship they reveal and learn to confront their true natures.

On the surface, this is a movie about a bunch of dicks. They shout, swear, threaten each other, and generally just behave like the scum of society. But really Tyrannosaur is a study on the human condition. Joseph is a man who has behaved badly in the past, regrets it greatly and wishes to overcome it, despite all the things that threaten to send him into a violent temper. Hannah is a woman who is forced to reevaluate her life in order to escape a potentially fatal situation in a dangerous relationship. Both have to learn to deal with rage in their own ways, and it becomes clear that things aren't always so black and white.

Mullan and Colman are wonderful in their roles. I can't fault them. Joseph's violent streaks are almost scary, but still I really grew to like his character based on his quiet, reflective moments. I've only ever seen Olivia Colman in comedic roles, but she handles Hannah's character very nicely, from the saccharine Christian temperament to the point where she begins to fight back.

While Tyrannosaur does drag in some places, it's reasonably well paced, and it's certainly a very emotional, thought provoking movie. If you like your hard hitting dramas, this one's for you.

My rating: 4/5

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