Several years ago, I walked into Woolworths to browse the new DVD releases, I picked up the box for a film I had not heard of, starring people whose names I weren’t familiar with. The storyline looked interesting and sounded gritty and so as I often did and still do. I took a gamble and paid my money. That film was London To Brighton, the cast names featured were Lorraine Stanley, Georgia Groome and Johnny Harris. The film was directed by Paul Andrew Williams and the story was written by Paul Andrew Williams. Little did I know at that time, that London To Brighton would become one of my favourite films, its cast would become some of my favourite actors, and Paul Andrew Williams would become one of my favourite filmmakers.
In November, 2021 we got the cinema release of Paul’s latest film ‘Bull’ which one review at the time described as a ‘return to form’ for Paul Andrew Williams, a phrase which I very much disagree with, because Paul Andrew Williams has never been away to need a ‘return’ From London to Brighton, Cherry Tree Lane, A Song for Marion, and also true life dramas Murdered by My Boyfriend, and Murdered for Being Different, Paul Andrew Williams has always delivered the films with the power of a sledgehammer, but with the accuracy of a scalpel and with such care to make sure the story and the characters are the focus and everything is in its perfect place and whilst many of his films are brutal, the brutality is never gratuitous and is always there when it needs to be and for as long as it needs to be, and Bull is no different. The toughness serves the story and the world in which it is set.
Neil Maskell plays ‘Bull’ who returns to his home town after several years away and to say that those he knew, aren’t too happy to see him or hear of his return is an understatement. Bull is perhaps one of the most intense characters I have seen on screen for years and watching this unflinching, relentless, super intense man work his way through what he has planned for years is as I had previously mentioned like a sledgehammer. On the surface you might feel that the onscreen performance of Neil Maskell as Bull is the shining star of the film (and it is a stunning performance), its also very much worth mentioning that the super talented co- stars who find themselves face to face with Bull, deliver just as fantastic a performance with their reactions and interactions which in turn makes Bull even scarier and the film more intense to watch By seeing the fear in their eyes, we in turn are reminded just how damn scary Bull is.
I was tempted and really wanted to give a mention to some of these stand out scenes but then opted to not, as I am always protective of anything that would spoil the first time viewing of a film. Lets just say that every single person in Bull is at the top of their game and help hugely in making Bull a knockout of a movie! So a huge thank you from me to them all.
Its not just the story, or the performances by the wonderful cast that makes this film one of my favourites, The look of the film fits perfectly with its world, and matches its mood and tone, wonderful cinematography by Ben Chads & Vanessa Whyte as does the great music score by Benjamin Stefanski (a.k.a Raffertie) Great work by all.
Signature Entertainment presents Bull on Digital Platforms
Find the platform of your choice here https://beacons.ai/BullMovie
Review by : Stuart Bannerman @frompage2screen (Twitter, Instagram)