Joseph is a very angry man, his wife has been dead for five years, his dog has just died and his best friend is suffering from terminal cancer with only weeks to live. He is alone and will take out his anger on anyone at anytime be it at the local post-office to just a couple of blokes playing pool at the pub. He hits rock bottom one night after being bashed himself. He ends up going to an op-shop where he has a bit of a breakdown, and meets Hannah, the owner of the store. She comes from the rich part of town, and is highly religious, so when Joseph starts verbally abusing her, he is surprised to witness that she doesn’t kick him out of her store, but instead, tries to help him. This both enrages him and touches him at the same time, but it is the catalyst for Joseph to try and turn his life around, but for a man like Joseph, this is easier said than done.
Surprisingly, Hannah doesn’t have the life Joseph accuses her to have. She is married to an abusive husband who has no respect for her and treats her like absolute shit, to the point that he even urinates on her one night while she is sleeping. However when her husband bashes and rapes her after a night of drinking, Hannah has had enough, and the next morning she ups and leaves him. With nowhere else to go, she ends up on Joseph’s doorstep looking for help. While he wants to help this woman, it also agitates him, because he is really trying to turn his life around, but once he hears the truth about Hannah’s life and what she has been put through by her husband, will he revert back to his violent ways in an attempt to get revenge for Hannah, or will he ignore it and try to continue along his path of self improvement?
“Tyrannosaur” is the directorial debut from actor Paddy Considine, and it is a typically dark and dreary drama that the UK are quite famous for. If it wasn’t for the fact that they do them so well, they would be considered cliché by now. The strongest aspect of the film is the character of Joseph, he is so well rounded and full of contradictions, which ultimately makes him human. He is beautifully and aggressively played by Peter Mullan, who gives the character some amazing depth and gravitas. I will admit that I found his accent a little hard to decipher at times, especially at the start of the film. Olivia Colman as Hannah is also very good as a woman who has a much darker reality than she presents to the world.
The film is well shot, although it does look a dreary place to live in (is it really this grey in reality, or only in the films?). “Tyrannosaur” has its moments of violence, but they are dealt with quickly and painfully. Overall, I was quite impressed by Paddy Considine’s “Tyrannosaur”, which the director also scripted as well, and I look forward to more directorial projects from the man.