Newest Review: ... on me. The film is an eighteen due to the language used and the violent/sexual scenes. My copy of the DVD has got various extras including:... more
This Is England (DVD)
Member Name: yackers1
This Is England (DVD)
Advantages: The end..............although it took FAR to long to get there
Disadvantages: A waste of 101 minutes
Written and directed by Shane Meadows "This Is England" is a violent film portraying the skinhead gang culture that was released back in April 2007.
The year is 1983 and Shaun ("Thomas Turgoose") has recently lost his father, which has made him in to a confused, angry and highly-charged child. School is not going well and Shaun finds himself the target of many bullies. After a particularly hard day at school Shaun meets up with the local "skins" gang consisting of Woody ("Joseph Gilgun"), Milky ("Andrew Shim"), Gadget ("Andrew Ellis"), Banjo ("George Newton"), Lenny ("Frank Harper") and Lol ("Vicky McClure").
Woody takes pity on Shaun, and despite Shaun's tender age, takes him under his wing and invites him to the join the gang, much to the disappointment of Cynth ("Jo Hartly"), Shaun's widowed mother. The gang use Shaun as their lifelike Barbie doll and turn their new recruit in to a smaller and younger version of themselves and a "mini me" is born.
The gang continue their binge drinking, vandalising, terrorising, robbing, smoking and drug taking way until Combo ("Stephen Graham") descends on the gang. Unbeknown to the gang Combo and Woody go way back and Combo's plan for Woody and the group backfires somewhat as the group disbands and loyalties divide.
Whilst Woody and his aides disappear back to the streets, Combo has bigger ideas for his newly formed gang and starts to influence his opinions on them. Things don't go smoothly as Combo's mental state takes a turn for the worse.
Does the group re-unite with Woody as their leader? What happens to Combo? Is Shaun destined to be a skin for the rest of his life?
After doing a bit of channel flicking I stumbled across this film on Freeview the other night and in the absence of anything else (television really has gone downhill) I decided to settle down and watch this offering that I had heard of but knew nothing about.
Before the film started the commentators stated that "This Is England" contained strong language and scenes of violence that some viewers may find upsetting", and before the film commenced after every commercial break this message was re-iterated. From the opening five minutes it was clear that this film was going to be extremely violent and contain many profanities. Foul language is best served with emotion and there are times when this combination is required to give a bit of 'oomph' to the scene. However, there are times when foul language just isn't needed and this film contained many of those moments. Foul language has never really bothered me, although I did feel that there was just too much in this film.
I appreciate this film was meant to depict what life was like in the eighties, and the general feeling around that time, but personally, I found the story weak, irrelevant, unrealistic and it didn't go anywhere. There was just no purpose to it and I really struggled to see what the point was or what the producers were trying to put across. After all, the skins made up such a tiny percentage of the population how could they truly portray what life was like? They were such a small minority and this film focused solely on them. What about the other groups in society? This film is purely one sided with a lot of bias and with no balance whatsoever.
The time frame covered in the film was far too short and I didn't find it thought provoking or intelligent at all. It was just mindless drivel, although I did watch it to the end. I have to admit the only reason I watched to the bitter end was out of curiosity to see how the film was going to be drawn to a conclusion, and once it had finished I have to admit that I was very disappointed with such a poor ending. I actually felt quite cheated that I had wasted 101 minutes of my life watching such rubbish.
The cast is a group of relative unknowns and overall the acting is OK, but then given the topic of the film and the way it panned out the cast didn't really need great acting skills for the roles. This certainly isn't the film that is going to bring any potentially amazing actors to the attention of the public, and consequently there were no amazing performances, no scenes that blew me away and no scenes that made me think "wow", which was quite disappointing given the emotive issues covered in this film.
The soundtrack is weak and unmemorable, and sitting here writing this review after watching the film just two days ago I can't remember a single piece of music used. I think this goes to show the effect this film had on me.
This film gets a big thumbs down from me and I think it is poor in every way and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and I would suggest that any viewers looking for a violent film look elsewhere since there are far better alternatives out there to watch.
Run time - 101 minutes
Certificate - 18
A BAFTA film award, 7 other awards and 14 nominations
Summary: So England is purely a nation of bigot thugs? Hmmmmm............