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Movie reviews for This is England

I wanted to watch this movie, since it was a channel 4 production, and they are usually more like Independent labels; something enchanting and a little offbeat, and this was no exception. At first I didn’t know what to make of this movie, from the initial previews I had the impression it was patroitic racism from a few ignorant individuals. Half way into the movie I got the impression this was more a mod and punk scene celebration, coupled with the political events around the late 70’s and early 80’s in the UK, with the Falkland’s war, and high unemployment, and the feeling of rage and anger. About an hour into the movie my initial impression about it focused on racism from a few ignorant individuals came full throttle, the movie is part biographical from the director Shane Meadows, it is told through the eyes of 12 year old Shaun played effectively by Thomas Turgoose (whose real life mother died a fewmonths after the movie was made, and in the end credits is dedicated to her). Shaun has just lot his father to the falklands, and is being picked on at schooland by all the kids his age, for his fashion sense, which is dedicated to his father, as a proud little fella, he inevitably gets involved in a few scuffles until he meets a bunch of laid back punk/mods, they take him under their wing, until Combo (played mesmerisingly by Stephen Graham, complete contrast from his character Tommy in Snatch) comes on the scene, just out from 3 and a half years in the penetentiary, unemployed and angry, he takes Shaun under his wing, and steals the scene with every performance. The final scene was eerily effective, you could sense the feeling of rage, and uncontrollable anger about to be unleashed on the poor individual who he feels crossed his path.
Altogether this is an eye opener, and has parallels to the war in Iraq, as then as now many felt the government was wrong, and the UK had no business in the Falklands, but this was not what the movie was generally about, but how hearts and minds could be influenced, when impoverishment, and ethnic hatred is let loose looking for a scapegoat disguised as national pride.

Stephen Graham's mesmerising performance in This is England

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