Bunny And The Bull - Blu-ray Review

'substantial emotional investment is required in Stephen for the film to work but, after over an hour, I couldn't even remember his name'

Because Bunny And The Bull was completely funded in England, it's quite difficult to find out any financial information about it. IMDb has its opening UK weekend at £49,612, having been shown on just 27 screens, a run that was probably never extended. It's reasonable therefore to assume that Bunny's budget wasn't astronomical, a fact borne out within the opening half hour, when you realise that the cheap sets and lacklustre acting aren't going to magically disappear when the second act starts. Like many low budget films, this turns out to be both a part of Bunny's success and a reason why its success is limited.

Unlike some smaller budget independent offerings, Bunny feels beset by technical problems which threaten the viewers involvement in and commitment to, the action on screen. That action surrounds Stephen (Edward Hogg), a young shut-in who, on a day when his routine is strangely broken, finds himself remembering a road trip taken around Europe with his best friend Bunny (Simon Farnaby). The road trip is shown to us on screen by a series of visions Stephen has based on memorabilia he finds from the trip. So, he finds a map and we see Stephen and Bunny driving through paper countryside; a couple of pictures, the duo are in a world created by photographs. The idea behind this is sound but the execution sometimes muddled. The opening trip to a hand-drawn bookies for example, never convinces and the final scenes in a Spain made out of bottle crates and sheets are particularly weak. Sound too sometimes echoes around the place and the lighting is as patchy as the locations.

But, as previously mentioned, the ideas behind the central visions are creative and unique and often (the pictures, a trip inside a clockwork fairground, a snow globe) the setting is so charming that the technical errors fade into the background. In the area of charm, Bunny has a lot going for it, particularly when Eloisa (Verónica Echegui, most obviously comparable to Penélope Cruz) arrives to make the duo a trio. Her presence is one of vicious humour, bubbling sensuality and quiet affection and, although the character conforms perhaps too much to the 'passionate European' stereotype, Echegui's committed performance pulls the film up markedly.

Which is, in a way, veiled criticism because, for me, the central duo weren't engaging enough to sustain my interest all the way through. Substantial emotional investment is required in Stephen for the film to work but, after over an hour, I couldn't even remember his name and had been given little reason to really care for him. Simon Farnaby as Bunny is occasionally hilarious ('you try reasoning with a big fat gypsy at four o'clock in the morning in the nuddy nudd!) but his TV series (and particularly sitcom heavy) background, belies him when something more refined is called for and, again, I struggled to connect or sympathise with him.

For people trying to search out something new and unique, or even for fans of David Lynch-like surrealism, there's plenty here to be interested in but for everyone else, there's only just enough to be engaged by in a film which, at least eventually, has its heart in the right place.

Look further...

'Channeling Monty Python, David Lynch and Gilliam all at the same time, this is a welcome and highly refreshing new entry into the British film cannon' - Darkmatters, 9/10


  1. Oh, how I wanna see this.

  2. Just don't get your hopes up too much. It's good but by no means great.