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Bunny and the Bull



The two entities share director Paul King, here making his feature debut, and a sharp, surrealist approach to comedy.

Don’t expect a fairy tale, although the title certainly suggests as much. Stephen (Edward Hogg) is an OCD-inflicted hermit who cannot and will not leave his apartment. Initially, we do not know the reasons, but all is revealed as he — and the movie — flashes back to the chaotic European road trip he took with his best pal, Bunny (Simon Farnaby).

In looks, they resemble Russell Brand and “South Park” creator Matt Stone, respectively, but in personality, they couldn’t be more different. Stephen is shy and careful; Bunny, sexual and carefree. They pick up a third wheel in the form of a cute, angry waitress (Veronica Echegui), to whom Stephen takes a shine, but Bunny — true to his name — moves in fast as lightning. That may undo their friendship, provided they survive all the madcap situations they run into; a highlight is the Polish guy who offers them warm dog milk and wishes to mate with a stuffed bear.

King’s fine film is quite funny, yes, but he hasn’t settled for mere laughs; his backgrounds and sets often are comprised of construction-paper cutouts and other assorted things that aren’t really there, granting a dreamlike quality. I was reminded of some of Michel Gondry’s videos and films (particularly “The Science of Sleep”), but better.

Yes, better. This whimsical one’s a charmer and a gut-buster. —Rod Lott

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