Wednesday 5 October 2011

New Release - Tyrannosaur Feat. Q & A with Paddy Considine

Ever since his debut appearance in Shane Meadow's cult classic A Room for Romeo Brass back in 1999, Paddy Considine has provided us with a diverse range of characters in low budget wonders as well as appearing in a number of Hollywood productions. His acting ability seems to know no limits and it was with great anticipation that I awaited the opening credits of his feature length directorial debut Tyrannosaur, blissfully unaware of the gritty realism and brutality that was about to unfold before my eyes.

It was interesting to see that Brian Cox was also in the audience, it is clear that this actor turned director is respected not just by his audience but also by his peers. When the lights went down in the packed cinema a stark silence fell on the audience, the anticipation was enormous, and I was hoping that Tyrannosaur would live up to its name.

After the success of his BAFTA award winning short film Dog Altogether, Paddy decided to revisit the characters he first introduced to us back in 2007 to take an in depth look at their lives. For those unfortunate enough to have missed this short, it follows the path of an unhinged man, Joseph, and his encounter with a religious charity shop worker, Hannah, who will seemingly stop at nothing to help him. This scenario is revisited in Tyrannosaur and it is great to see that Considine stuck with the same actors, with both Peter Mullen and Olivia Colman putting in exceptional performances which are only enhanced by the inclusion of Eddie Marsan as Hannah's violent husband.

Comparisons to Shane Meadows work are inevitable but Tyrannosaur is an altogether different beast, with lashes of dark humour and depraved acts that would not be out of place in a Peckinpah film. It is incredible how Paddy manages to create a feeling of empathy towards Joseph, he is a violent brute with little or no concern for those around him but somehow also strangely likeable. His relationship with Hannah is the key to this as we see rare glimpses of affection which indicate a human side to him, even though we are well aware that deep inside there is a monster lurking.

Joseph is not the only one prone to violent outbursts, with Hannah's husband even more twisted and abhorrent. From the offset it is clear that there will be an inevitable confrontation between these two characters and the build up to this climax is outstanding. The supporting cast do a fantastic job of grounding the story, with a gripping subplot involving a young child and his suffering at the hands of his mother's cruel boyfriend.

For a debut film this leaves one hell of an impression whilst asserting Considine's position as a Director to watch out for. In my eyes it is the third great British debut of the year, following on from Richard Ayoade's Submarine and Joe Cornish's Attack The Block, and it gives me faith that our nation can compete with Hollywood when it comes to one of the most important aspect of film-making, the art of storytelling.

Paddy was gracious enough to appear at the preview screening I attended for a Q & A session following his film and the rapturous applause spoke for itself. I have encountered him twice before at gigs where he played with his brilliant band Riding the Low and he always comes across as a charismatic, down to earth guy with a genuine passion for his art whether it be acting, singing or directing.

It wasn't long before he mentioned his pal Shane Meadows, and not long after this Paddy's phone went off; "It's Shane telling me I better watch what I say about him" he retorted, reading his text message. It's off the cuff comments like this that make it so easy to warm to the man, and it was not long before we were all putty in his hands, listening to his fascinating anecdotes and eager to press him for as much information as we could in the time allotted.

My highlight of the session was Paddy's retort about filming on location; "You can't film Inception down Leeds fucking high street", and he went on to mention how the way a man came past walking his dog provided the idea for one of the key scenes in the film. In another scene shot in a pub, I was astounded to learn that the guitarist was given the part in order to stop him from pestering the crew. The song he created fitted perfectly with the mood of the film indicating that Paddy is unafraid to take risks with his film-making in order to provide us with the aspect of realism that echoes throughout Tyrannosaur.

One of the highlights of British cinema this year, Tyrannosaur is an outstanding debut with powerful performances that should not be missed. Fans of Considine will certainly be impressed by his decision to move behind the camera and those new to his work will be dumbstruck by the sheer brilliance of what could well be one of the next great British directors.

If you like this you will love these:

Happy Go Lucky
London To Brighton
Dead Man's Shoes
Fish Tank

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