Friday, September 28, 2012

"All the way sank"

I just finished watching a film I had planned to watch for a long time, Tyrannosaur, a film directed by Paddy Considine and winner of the 2011 BAFTA (the U.K.'s film awards, similar to our Oscars) for best drama. I know it sounds trite and vague, but words escape me when trying to describe this film. It is very Celtic, which, at least to me, means it is very existential, or, if you prefer, realistic, so much so that it takes on a transcendent quality. This description is not meant to be too cute, or an attempt at playing Captain Conundrum. The transcendence comes from the interiority, that is, the hearts of the two main characters, Joseph and Hannah, played by Peter Mullan (the actor, not to be confused with the Rev. Dr. Peter Mullen) and Olivia Colman respectively.

It is their longing that draws them towards each other, not romantically, sentimentally, or even erotically. The U.K.'s Guardian newspaper had an interesting debate as to whether Considine's directorial debut was "povery porn." While I think Natalie Haynes makes some points worth considering arguing that Tyrannosaur consitiutes a kind of "poverty porn," I side with Jason Solomons that it is not.

After the dust settles in the film, Joseph writes Hannah, who is in prison, a letter, part of which reads:
I prayed for ya the other day, it's not somethin' I do, but I figured I was talkin' to myself and saying a prayer. I don't even believe in all that shit, as you well know. I'd like to come and see you, there's things I want you to know. I know you asked me once why I was in the shop [the Goodwill shop where Olivia volunteered and where he saw her], but I never told ya. I didn't go in there lookin' for God. I wanted you. I just went in there because, apart from Sam [little boy who lived across the street] you're the only person who smiled when I'm around you and I wanted, I wanted you to soak into me and bring me up. I thought you were beautiful. I just wanted to look at you, that's all. I didn't want to know ya because I knew that if I got to know ya that you'd have your own shit, you wouldn't be perfect and I didn't want that feelin' ruined, but it's alright
The film ends with Joseph visiting Olivia in prison, they hold hands and just look at each other.

The Leisure Society's "We Were Wasted," the last song in the film seems a great way to end.


  1. 5 months have passed since i read this post...put this in my netflix queue 3 months ago...watched it last night...had great difficulty understand much of the dialogue but understood enough to have the movie grab my heart...maybe not a cinematic masterpiece, but a story of of the human condition i can identify with...thank you for posting this and leading me to this story...

  2. Film is a powerful medium, indeed. I am grateful that you were also moved by this movie.