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Radmila Djurica

Radmila Djurica is your guide to the festival scenes: Sarajevo, Cannes and many more

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Tyrannosaur Honest and Powerful

Author Film Festival FAF 2011 offered very different a high quality films. And for start I would like to write about Tyrannosaur by Paddy Considine film that ended with several awards on festival. At a very least, what we can expect from downbeat art film is to be distinctive and most of all, honest. All authors who may have made money with their film are well advised to focus on some sort of  happy notes in their films as a relentless mechanical proves that film will hit a theatre boxes. See, this is where dr. feel-good" becomes just a cynic buzzword. If we are talking about good, authentic and social British film, this is the right word to describe it- a cynical buzzword. In addition, who can be better cast for that then Scottish actor Peter Mullan very much known by films such as: My Name is Joe or Sister Magdalene for instance?

Very few directors however ever have rich authentically crafted style and frankly guts to do somber for dark matters in life with integrity at the very least, for regard of the quality. Of course, some might say that dark matters in film can be very much imposed, but if this is skillfully enough done and clearly clarified, it becomes the perfect work of art. In addition, what the Tyrannosaur really is. This is, without doubt, a downbeat British film and absolute real and absolute social review at the notorious, utterly unjust and claustophobic British class system. Tyrannosaur is the first feature by actor Paddy Considine who, by now, has played several moody characters in other film as well. Moreover, as a writer-director, I think, after this film, he should be taken very seriously. Tyrannosaur stars Peter Mullan as Joseph, bitter and violent drunk who loves his dog but nothing else much, but love des not stops him from kicking him to death. The same goes for his late wife emotionally abused to her very last moment of life.This is a hard-tacks British realism effectively set in hell, by British actor and director Considine, who probably comes from the same British social class. Everyone bullies everybody here, a wicked circle with no way out, never stops to wonder. Abuser and other way around leaving no room for reconciliation or pity because the pity is not what you feel about characters in the film haunt the abused. Just a great respect for charismatic bully (Mullan) and great admiration for poor abused woman or a neighbor child.  Opposite Joseph lives, neglected boy with mother's boyfriend with likeable dog trained to terrorize everyone, including the child. This is a world of brutality, brought and raised in one unfair and socially unequal class system that spiritually and emotionally breaks down the strongest characters and personality. And Joseph is strong: he carries burden of shame and guilt: he carries rage on his back, and a little tenderness leftovers for Hannah (Olivia Colman), heavily abused by perfect husband in a perfect little house. In addition, who is her husband James (Eddie Marsan) is clearly showed when at the beginning of film he finds her asleep on the sofa and piss on her. The revelation of Hannah's suffer in a single shot is chillingly clear understatement – for more horrific abuse to come later on.Considine’s film is perfectly crafted expressionist piece. If you check exteriors and a moody grey daylight and creepy decrepit you can see what I mean. A vivid pub life and happy ballad about strength at the party too, obviously reassures us about the happy end and light at the end of the tunnel for abused. Mullan is superb, as he is always, so Paddy made a great casting there: he specializes in hard-bitten wrecks of human personalities edged over with his harsh exterior and hard Edinburgh accent. Eddie Marsan is good too, but less provocative of course; even though he too specialized for edgy parts. And Olivia Colman plays a figure of intense strength, dignity and sensibility caught in the net of being abused and loving the abuser.  Colman captures the behaving of a victim in chronic denial and apologies, which is typical for many victims. And by the time, Hannah starts to show her anger with superb performance indeed.

This radical film has a serious, hilarious and much understated theological critic of society: "God still thinks he's God" (said Joseph) "No one's told him otherwise"(hilarious isn’t). Film Tyrannosaur creates atmosphere of desolation but not despair that some will find compelling enough. Strong and powerful the film was made in confidence and down right honesty, which touches a raw nerve right through it. Well done Paddy!   Film reviews in the coming days:Shame by Steve McQueenLas Acacias by Pablo GiorgelliThe Fairy by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy (review coming with interview) 


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