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This is England

This is England

Gerald Butler certainly didn't scream “Madness? Thiiiiissssch issssssschh England” to the point of spitting in the movie 300. But maybe he should have. Because this little budget gem deserves all the attention it can get. Partly based on director and screenwriter Shane Meadows' upbringing, the film begins in a boy's room somewhere in England. There we meet 12-year-old Sean (in other words, Mido's alter ego). He looks sad. We soon learned that his father had died. This is brought up by a particularly insensitive person who gets into a fight with Sean in the schoolyard. After a few minutes, we viewers are introduced to the skinheads that Sean will later befriend.

Now we come to what This England is looking to delve into. The legend of skinheads. They want to show that there are differences there too. Not all skinheads are racist, as many now believe. Without delving into the history surrounding it, you can say that skinhead culture was initially about people who stood up for their opinions, had a strong tolerance for others and shared a love of ska and Oi!-music. It had nothing to do with racism or xenophobia. However, in the 1980s, several racist and neo-Nazi subgroups began to emerge within the movement, which was the beginning of the end for what was actually a fairly innocent movement.

That's what This is England shows when we first meet the skinheads that Sean befriends. They are peaceful and happy and seem mostly interested in just having fun. His name is Commander Woody and he is a lovable character that you will quickly fall in love with. He is the one who takes Shawn under his wing and allows him to become one of the gang members. This is where the film is at its best and really gives a sense of community. You laugh a lot at the gang's antics and your entire body is filled with feelings of happiness, not least when Shawn falls in love with a girl who is also part of the gang. Then something happens. A combo character is introduced. He was recently released from prison and is straight up showing what a pig he is with his racist remarks. Woody and a few others decide to distance themselves from this guy, but Sean is lured into joining his gang by Combo's talk about people having to pay for killing Sean's father.

Now the film changes its tone and instead becomes a dirty, powerful and somewhat unpleasant film about narrow-minded people who abuse others through verbal and physical assaults. Meadows shows how things can go wrong when you end up in bad company, and Thomas Turgus's performance impresses the young boy (although he is initially annoyed by the little scoundrel). However, he's not the only one convincing, almost every participant in This Is England feels as believable as possible and acts forcefully in his explanations. The only one I'm a little suspicious of is the fat old man with the hat, hair, and glasses who hangs out with the Combo gang, otherwise clean-shaven. What the hell is he doing there? It feels as out of place as seeing Paris Hilton in a Bergman movie.

Aside from the fat old man, the detail work is impressive (with old hairstyles, clothes and other things) and precisely for this reason, Meadows takes us back to the 1980s as if via a time machine. But despite all the positive things I've now written about the film, it's more or less impossible to avoid the feeling that during the last 20 minutes of the film you lose a lot of the momentum you built earlier throughout the film with great actors, and good dialogue. Beautiful scenes and music beyond human capabilities. Simply put, it gets a little long as the gang sits inside Combo's apartment for what seems like an eternity (although it only lasts about 10 minutes, if you're picky).

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Anyway, This is England is clearly a good film despite its somewhat weak ending, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it one of the best films of last year. It's not good. This is despite the fact that everyone else in the world uses superlatives to describe him.

However, the DVD is worthy of praise, so there are great things to come. In terms of picture and sound, it is true that they only remain at a fairly average level, but on a further physical level, they are impressive. The release is on 2 discs and on disc 2 you will find many goodies such as behind the scenes, interviews and auditions with lead actor Thomas Turgus and a number of featurettes where you can see the actors and rehearsals as well as some hair and styling. -higher. There are also a number of deleted scenes and a trailer in this moderated version.