This is England is a British film set in 1983 and is about a young boy called Shaun becomes friends with a gang of skinheads. Friends soon become like family, and relationships will be pushed to the very limit with the arrival of ex prisoner, Combo. It also shows the struggle for northern people living in a Margaret Thatcher government.
Thomas Turgoose plays Shaun. His dad was a serviceman killed in the Falklands and he’s perennially getting picked on for this, and for his horrible flared jeans . Sloping and moping his way home after a standard-issue school day of humiliation, Shaun gets stumble into some skin heads in a dodgy underpass, but instead of yet more battering, the gang give him sympathy and understanding; they become Shaun’s only friends, and with a new Ben Sherman shirt, number one cut hair cut and Dr Martins, Shaun has new pride and a new identity.
The gang’s leader is Woody who is a cheerful, Sparky performance from Joe Gilgun. The gang also includes Milky who is from the Caribbean and Woody’s best mate, and gadget who normally gets teased on for being fat. Shaun even finds romance with one of the group’s girl-punk fellow travellers: a older woman called Smell (Rosamund Hanson) .The idyll is soon destroyed with the highly unwelcome appearance of Combo, a ferocious and sinister skin just out of prison, played by Stephen Graham. He demands the group join his National Front cell, and turn out for an NF meeting in a tatty pub, addressed by one of the movement’s leaders.
The film comes to a violent end with Combo almost beating Milky to death because of his race.
The first TV series was set in 1986, this was about the marriage of Woody and Lol and the arrival of Lol dad who is a rapist. The first series had all the things people loved from the film but it focused on more character building which is easier to do in a TV series than a film, I was a lot darker in my opinion.
The second series was set in 1988, this was about Lol getting over the death of her father who was killed by her but Combo took the blame for it, whilst this was happening Lol had an affair with Milky and they had a Mixed raced child. Woody feels heart-broken and is forced to leave Lol even through he still loves her. The group Is more divided in this series but still has these comedy moments and extremely dark moments which Sean Meadows does brilliantly. Because of the shame Lol feels and guilt of keeping the death of her father a secret from everyone she try’s to commit suicide.
The third series and my favorite out of the film and other two is set in 1990. Woody and Lol get back together at the end of 88 and 90 shows them have a child together and happily together. This series also includes the drug culture develop like it did in 1990 and shows Kelly’s (Lol’s sister) problem with heroin. This series also includes a lot music from The Stone Roses who were a big band in the 90’s and are one of my favorite bands.
Overall the film of This is England is amazing and the TV series add to the film in more detail with the audience getting more screen time with these characters. Shane Meadows director it and writes it which is done brilliantly, the shots he uses are beautiful which are well matched with the music chosen. The acting is brilliant from the film all the way through to the last series 90. What I love about this is England Is that it is like you have gone back in time and it is like you are there in these different time periods. This is England is one of my favorite films and one of my favorite TV series.
I would give the film this is England 8.6 out of 10 and i would give the TV series on a whole with all three series a 9 out of 10.
This gives a summary of what happens from the film to the last TV series.