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Bunny and the Bull

2 December 09 words: Alison Emm
A road movie remembered in flashback by an agoraphobic from his flat. What else would you expect from the director of the Mighty Boosh?

 Edward Hogg as Stephen (left) and Simon Farnaby as Bunny (right)
 Edward Hogg  as Stephen (left) and Simon Farnaby as Bunny (right)

Bunny and the Bull is the debut comedy feature penned and directed by Mighty Boosh director, Paul King and, unsurprisingly, it’s full of surreal humour, sets and characters. Filmed entirely in Nottingham, it’s a road movie around Europe remembered in flashback by an agoraphobic holed up in his Kings Cross flat. What else would you expect?

Stephen is the agoraphobic, obsessive compulsive of the piece who catalogues his life, including his dental floss and piss – lovely. As if he isn’t nutty enough as it is, he finds that his carefully stocked cupboards of food have been ravaged by an evil mouse and is forced to consider going outside for the first time in a year. Overcome with the stress, he begins mentally revisiting a journey he took with his best friend, Bunny, the previous year through Europe that ultimately left him with the inability to leave his flat.   
 
Bunny and Stephen are two sides of a coin, bound together by time and their love of betting. Bunny is the kind of mate who is great fun to hang around with at times as he’s always doing something unpredictable but annoying as hell to put up with at other times because he’s selfish. Stephen, on the other hand, likes routine and everything to be just so and instead of living the crazy life through Europe, is hankering after being cultured via the medium of museums.   Stephen gets his way and the pair trek through many a dull museum (all real), including The German Museum of Cutlery, oh the fun to be had. However, it is in Poland that things deviate from Stephen’s plan to outright chaos when they win a car in a bet and offer to drive a fiery young Spanish girl back to Spain for a fiesta. 
 
Cameos come from Noel Fielding (a drunken matador) Richard Ayoade (an incredibly dull museum guide) and Julian Barratt (a crazy Hungarian tramp), all of whom almost, but not quite, steal the show with their parts. The collection of characters they meet along the way are bizarre stereotypes gone mad and all help make their journey far from forgettable.
 
The most striking thing about Bunny and the Bull is the sets. They are aesthetically inventive and impressive, from the hand drawn chain crab restaurant where we meet Bunny, to the newspaper land where the pair encounter a Hungarian tramp, to the clockwork fairground to the toilet based carriages of a sleeper train. Unfortunately, although the film is good and there are plenty of gags, the script is lacking a little at times and what could be an amazing film leaves you feeling that something was missing. 

Bunny and the Bull will be showing at Broadway cinema until Thursday 10 December

Bunny and the Bull website

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