In the opening scene of Tyrannosaur we are introduced to Joseph via his deplorable actions and even worse attitude. Joseph appears to be a menace in a neighborhood that are full of them, and he is prone to bursts of violence that are both confrontational and passive aggressive. Joseph wears his emotions on his sleeve and walks with a menacing purpose. There is so much not to like about Joseph that you’ll wonder just what it is that could possibly happen in this story to redeem him.
After a very bad day of his own making Joseph attempts to hide out in the second hand store of Hannah. Hannah is a nice god fearing sort, a bit aged her owns self, and offers prayer to the disturbed man whom she’s never seen before. Before you think that you get an idea of where this is going, Hannah does not redeem Joseph, as this is not a story about redemption at all. It’s more about the different sides to colorful characters and the surprising edge to the more respectable seeming members of society.
Joseph is played by veteran Scottish actor Peter Mullan. He gives a very straight forward and unflinching performance of a character that knows he’s a very flawed man.Tyrannosaur doesn’t go where you think it’s going to and presents a fresh take on melodrama. All the major and minor players in this film hit just the right notes. This is actor turned director Paddy Considine’s film making debut, and kudos to him for his subtle touch behind the camera, as well as being able to encourage the performances on display. Cinematographer Erik Wilson paints a very bleak picture without laying it on too thick.
Tyrannosaur is a solid picture that doesn’t try to reinvent anything nor be cliche’ about it’s situations and characters. Maybe if we all give it a chance Paddy Considine will spoil us with more of his excellent storytelling.