If you’re looking for an upbeat and cheerful tale about dinosaurs, you picked the wrong movie. Tyrannosaur is the directorial debut from actor Paddy Considine and boy, is it bleak. The film follows the story of Joseph (Mullan), an angry older northern gentleman who lives a simple life that involves drinking and causing hell for the people in his town that he can’t stand (which is essentially everyone). His life soon becomes entangled with charity shop worker Hannah (Colman), a religious woman who suffers greatly at the hand of her husband. As Joe tries to make sense of his own mess of a life, he decides to become a protector for Hannah also.
This is a truly stunning piece of work; it recently won a BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, beating out incredibly strong competition such as Attack the Block, Submarine and Coriolanus, each being incredible films but make no mistake about it, this film deserved the award. Considine offers us an incredibly downbeat slice of life tale from the North. Despite it’s bleak outlook and nasty characters, the film is still stunningly likeable. Mullan’s performance as Joe is captivating, we believe his pain and frustration and whilst at first we don’t like him, we soon come to understand why he is like this and much like Clint Eastwood’s Walt Kowalski, you almost cheer for him at the end. Though in saying that, one must mention that Mullan’s performance is second to Colman’s who is just stunning, her struggle through this film is hard to bare, and she offers us an incredibly tortured performance that very few Hollywood actresses could even dream of doing.
It’s strange to find love with such a nasty piece of work, there are very few redeeming features to be found in the characters and the dull colours rarely entice one to rejoice in what’s happening on screen. The film doesn’t go for those flashy tricks, instead it gives us realism and grit, the likes of which we haven’t seen in British cinema in a long time, and through this we grow to care about what’s going on; the emotions, the characters, the setting, it’s all real, there is no Hollywood fakery here. It is through this that Paddy Considine has thrown his hat into the ring as one of the best up and coming British filmmakers of the moment, we should eagerly anticipate all future works from this gentlemen.
We have Considine’s short film Dog Altogether on which Tyrannosaur is based, it’s a fine work but comes up short when compared to the feature. The deleted scenes are interesting but nothing incredibly relevant and all make sense as to why they were cut, they come with a commentary from Considine, which is insightful, and probably the highlight of the extras. We also have a trailer for the film and a stills gallery.