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Tyrannosaur (DVD Review)

6 Mar, 2012 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Prebook 3/6/12; Street 4/3/12
Box Office $0.02 million
$27.99 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan.

Ferocious, disrespectful, volatile, wretched, bitter, foul-mouthed. These are just a few words that come to mind when thinking about the character Joseph in Tyrannosaur. He’s mad at the world, but there’s little insight given into why he’s so packed with rage, which makes it difficult to understand where he’s coming from.

Our first introduction to Joseph (played convincingly by Peter Mullan) is when he’s getting ousted from a bar, and upon leaving kicks his dog square in the ribs and kills the poor thing. That pales in comparison to some of his other, let’s just call them “violent” displays. Just when you’re thinking, “Man, this guy needs Jesus,” the peaceful Hannah (Olivia Colman) enters Joseph’s life.

The hardened man stumbles into Hannah’s Christian charity shop after being involved in yet another bar brawl, seeking refuge, I’m assuming. The self-effacing woman begins to pray for Joseph, at which point he begins bawling, crumbled between clothing racks a mess of a man. Although he berates Hannah, and the God she serves, she doesn’t return the affront. Joseph and Hannah’s relationship falls into a friendship that reveals different layers to each of their backstories.

Hannah, we soon discover, is hiding a pretty dark, intense secret: Her repulsive husband, James (Eddie Marsan), is abusive in every sense of the word — emotionally, mentally, physically. Her retaliation is something that draws unexpected reactions and results from these two weary souls.

Rife with gruesome images and harsh personalities to match, I’m still trying to fully wrap my head around what the filmmakers were trying to accomplish with Tyrannosaur. The film, however, does succeed in grabbing the viewer’s attention and keeping it for the duration of the dramatic, tumultuous ride.

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