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:: Bunny and The Bull

Bunny and The Bull is a British black comedy from writer/director Paul King. The movie centres on Steven Turnbull (Edward Hogg) an agoraphobic, obsessive compulsive who hasn’t left the house in almost a year. When his perfectly timed daily routine is disrupted by an infestation of mice, Steven find himself recreating a European road trip and series of events that led to his isolation.

King has previously directed television comedies The Mighty Boosh and Gareth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and anyone familiar with those shows will embrace the surrealism and quirky characters in Bunny and The Bull. Newcomers to this style however, may find it odd and disjointing to watch.

The recreation of the road trip incorporates objects from the house and figments of Steven’s imagination, creating a whacky setting typical of The Boosh - Hand drawn illustrations, cardboard cut outs, stop-frame shooting, painted backdrops and plasticine objects all combine to give the movie both a cartoon sense, yet also a sense that you are in a theatre, with a real set, watching some crazed art student play. This is heightened by the cutting between road trip nostalgia and the “escape” of the apartment, both of which seep increasingly into each until you are unsure if any sane reality exists. Space and time lose perspective, it’s a crazed acid trip of colour and texture that makes you want to jump into that house and take part in the fun.

However, there is a darker more serious side to the tale. Bunny and Steven are as different as chalk and cheese. We see that Bunny is a typically carefree, wild, and selfish character whose attitude to life sees him fall into nothing but luck. His constant gambling, placing bets on ridiculously unwinnable situations, always, unbelievably, work out in his favour. On the other hand, the meticulously prepared, careful and organised Steven always loses out, is never the winner and always ends up far from having any of the fun Bunny revels in.

Steven’s downside is his burning desire to find love. When he does, his sensitive, nervous and shy nature see him play the archetypal “guy-who-is-just-a-friend”, while Bunny swoops in to claim the girl. When one girl in particular, Eloisa ( Veronica Echegui ) finally comes between them, the story comes full circle with the catalyst that makes Steven shut his doors on the outside world.

The movie is well worth watching, if not just for one scene with cameo star Julian Barret, playing a drunk, homeless Russian. Noel Fielding too makes an appearance, adding an even deeper sense that this is basically, The Mighty Boosh, in movie form.