Paddy Considine’s Tyrannosaur is an angry film. Many of the characters are filled with anger and each displays it differently. The world that these characters inhabit is one filled with senseless violence and brutality that they all have to adapt to. Tyrannosaur is also about loss and trying to regain that missing entity, even if it is unrealistic.
Tyrannosaur is about Joseph (Peter Mullan), an angry man who lashes out at everyone and everything around him. He starts fights with people just because he can and doesn’t care about the repercussions. Joseph drinks regularly at a bar with his companions, who are unemployed habitual drunks. The only person who he gets along with is Samuel (Samuel Bottomley), a young boy with a mother who dates a mean-spirited man with a dangerous pit bull.
One day after a violent episode, Joseph wanders into a thrift store, where he hides in shame and meets the owner, Hannah (Olivia Colman). Hannah is a Christian woman who tries to reach out to Joseph while coping with a violent husband (Eddie Marsan). She and Joseph begin an unlikely friendship that leads to a startling resolution.
Peter Mullan is quite intimidating and menacing as Joseph. Joseph is constantly on the offensive. He does not let anyone get away with badmouthing him. He retaliates against people verbally and physically. Joseph is hell-bent on self-destruction and wants to take other people down with him. He completely shuns any kind or caring words spoken to him and degrades the person who has spoken them. With all this, there is a good side to Joseph. He visits his dying friend daily, even though the daughter of this friend blames him for her father’s sickness. Joseph also cares about Sammy, who is picked on by his mother’s boyfriend.
Olivia Colman delivers a moving performance as Hannah. She is the complete opposite of Joseph. Hannah sees the good in people and tries to brighten everyone’s day. Her job at the thrift store displays the compassion she has for others. She warmly greets Joseph when he comes into the store and tries to help him in his distress, even as he pushes her away. However, life at home for Hannah is a daily struggle to survive. Her husband, James, is a weak and jealous man, who constantly belittles her. Hannah endures this while trying to maintain an unfailing hopefulness in God and people.
While watching Tyrannosaur, I could not help but feel empathy for both Joseph and Hannah. These characters are trying their best to hold on in a world that is bleak and uncontrollable. There were quite a few disturbing scenes that made me pity what both these characters were going through. There seemed to be no end to the constant strife that all of these characters endured. I could only hope that there would be a respite for them.
Tyrannosaur is a powerful film about violence and how it destroys people internally. This movie definitely deserves to be watched for its unflinching view of a harsh but hopeful world.