Aug 27, 2010

This Is England (2006) - so much for happily ever afters


directed by Shane Meadows / starring Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Joseph Gilgun

I'd call this a crash landing back to the reality from the happy-go-lucky world of Disney, and I'm sure if I like it.

This Is England is based on the experiences of director Shane Meadows. Set in England, 1983, the story is about a troubled, bullied boy called Shaun, who befriends with a gang of skinheads and becomes a part of their 'family'. He soon moves on to bigger and better worse circles and drifts deeper into the twisted philosophy of skinheads.

I'm not sure what I should say about the film, it's quite difficult to form an opinion about it. I know it was a good film - meaning well-told, well-acted - but I didn't LIKE it, per se - meaning I will probably never watch it again voluntarily, because I don't like feeling this distressed after watching a film. I like to watch movies to escape reality, not to get a painful dose of its very worst right between the eyes.


Skinsheads are a group of people I was never able to give any short of understanding or respect. They make even patriotism feel unhealty, taking it out of all proportion. Though This Is England introduces a couple of 'good', only small-time skinheads, too - doing it mostly for status and boredom, I'd say - there's still nothing but disrespect I can feel for these people. Oh well, skinheads have seen their days of glory. They are still there, of course, what would the world be without its idiots, but THIS isn't what England is, THIS is just a sorry little group.

Right, I'm not discussing the film now, like I should. I'm just a bit confused about what the film tried to say. Anyway. Like I said, technically This Is England was a good film. Thomas Turgoose is the star of the film, he does splendid work as the messed up little boy. I also liked the girl playing the girlfriend of the gang's boss, I actually even liked her as a character. Someone still had some humanity and sense left.

In the end, This Is England was, as a watching experience, different and powerful. It was a sneakpeak to a world I'm very umfamiliar with, and wish to stay that way. But they sure do drama very well in Britain - I'm still not quite recovered from Boy A. That film I actually liked, though.

 
"Some people say we're racists. We're not racists. We're realists. Some people call us Nazis. We're not Nazis. No, what we are, we are nationalists and there's a reason people try to pigeonhole us like this. And that is because of one word, gentlemen - fear."

Ugh.

7 comments:

Paivi [Elokuvablogi.com] said...

I agree with you - this was not a film that you'd desperately want to see again. Tough subjects do that. This is England was a good film, but still I prefer American History X as an even more touching film about the subject.

Eeva said...

I saw American History X some years ago, but didn't like it much... Though I think I was only too young, and I've been meaning to rewatch it for a while now. Still waiting for the right mood...

Mikaela said...

Saw this too, on SubLeffa. Quite disturbing film, though great acting and storyline. I wouldn't watch this again though. I don't even know why since I've watched American History X several times and it was wwaaayyyy more gruesome than this..

Eeva said...

Yeah, this definitely isn't a film you watch over and over again for fun. It's been a long time since I saw American History X, but I remember it was, er, quite bloody.

jackh1990 said...

Like paivi says, tough subjects do that; there are plenty of films that leave you shocked for hours, even days after viewing them but these are the films that will go down in history as the classics. Take clockwork orange, one flew over the cuckoos nest, goodfellas for example..

Fum brut sense ales said...

I think you do not know much about the skinheads. You can read some information about skinheads here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SkinheadSorry, but I'm a skinhead and I'm not racist, I'm against Fascism and I'm not too vieolent...
And excuse me, 'cause my english is so bad.

Eeva said...

I agree, I do not know much about skinheads. My opinions are based on the few products of media that I've seen, and what I've seen I am strongly against. But yes, I'm aware that every group and subculture has their extremes, and not everyone falls under that same mold.