This is England (2006): 3/5
It reminds me of American History X with a bit of A Clockwork Orange and (INSERT RANDOM PROPAGANDA MOVIE) and you’ve got This is England. England in the 80’s, that is. The film indicates that it’s a historical drama -an autobiographical one at that, by writer and director Shane Meadows.
It’s about a 12 year old named Shaun who comes across a band of skinheads whom he befriends and gets treated like family. We are hinted towards a sort of hardish-core look at the movement during the 80’s (‘Maggie is a Bitch’ graffitied on the walls) which makes the premise and everything about the movie interesting. It becomes Shaun’s rite of passage when he meets an older and racist skinhead Combo as he suddenly gets hurled from innocence to experience.
I loved this movie. Catch it on a rainy evening or a sunny afternoon, it will definitely entertain. I didn’t like the disappearing Woody character, though, whose generous screen time at the beginning would have lead us to think that he’d be one of the main characters but as the movie clocks in at an hour he suddenly disappears as we now turn our focus to Combo (so disappointing!).
But I digress! So what is this film really about? Certainly not racism (it was just incidental) but the underlying theme would probably be emotional deprivation from each of the characters. It’s haunting and at times a bit disturbing, but hey like they said, This is England!
PS ignore that last sentence