Christmas 1988. Soulmates, woody and Lol find themselves in exile from each other and the gang. Trying to understand the definition 'growing up', Shaun begins a course at College, that quickly takes the wrong turn.
The year is 1990, the rave scene has just entered England. The sound of the Stone roses lurks toward Shaun and the gang. This means that Woody and Lol are living in a domestic bliss, they are happy again. But this year will see huge changes in everyone. This is the year 1990. This is England.
Lyra Mae Thomas,
Two twelve-year-old boys, Romeo and Gavin, undergo an extraordinary test of character and friendship when Morell, a naive but eccentric and dangerous stranger, comes between them. Morell ... See full summary »
This is England: Mods, New Romantics, and Skinheads are the major youth sub-cultures of this very English summer of 1983 and young 12-year-old Shaun is left wandering aimlessly alone and lost during the start of his school holidays, until his chance meeting with Woody and his fun and friendly Skinhead pack. Finding a new lease of life; girls, parties, Ben Sherman shirts, Doc Martin boots and shaven hairstyles young Shaun is welcomed, life during this summer holiday has got a whole lot better. That is until Combo arrives on the scene bitter, dangerous, racist, militant and psychotic life for young Shaun has just approached his first major crossroads. This is England is a look back at the early eighties of British working-class life through the eyes of young Shaun and his new gang, and dealing with the bitterness of outside influences such as racism and xenophobia, of mass unemployment and the fall out of the Falkland's War; Thatcher's Britain: Did we ever have it so good? When you see ...Written by
Bitter sweet rites of passage story set to skinheads
'This is England' is a must see for the type of persons who enjoy a good old 'innocence of youth' narrative (including a very comedic, almost cringe inducing, 'first kiss' scene) layered with powerful retrospective British realism reflecting early 1980's societal issues of the type that you wont see on any saccharin dipped 'i remember 1982' clip show.
Based largely around the 'skinhead' activities of the early eighties its interesting to note that the story really draws distinctions between the types of skinheads - the nazi/racist and the two-tone/soul loving skinheads.
Much like Mr Meadows other outings which tend to include a lot of relatively unknown and TV only actors/actresses, they all throw in sterling performances, particularly Stephen 'snatch' Graham as 'Combo'(sp.?) and the unknown Thomas Turgoose as young 'Sean'(sp?).
The soundtrack is as usual strategically lined up to help convey with the overall look and feel, with musical styles ranging from reggae (toots and the maytals), punk and two tone. It does however include new music presumably for a soundtrack album sales point of view, what with the most underrated Clayhill covering The Smiths(?).
overall: its as retrospective sharp as it is thought provoking, so if you lived anywhere near this time then see it: you may just like it. I you didn't then learn from this time in history when skin heads were either very open minded or very closed minded.
50 of 68 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this