Hailed as a ‘Masterpiece’, ‘A stunning piece of work’ and ‘Unmissable’ by British critics, Shane Meadows 2006 British drama This Is England is far from a film worthy of the Best British Film Academy Award it received in 2007. Centred around Skinheads in the 1980’s era, This Is England contains nothing less than constant scenes of racist abuse, knife and crime violence, and use of the word ‘Fuck’ every thirty seconds.
Starring Thomas Turgoose, in his first on-screen appearance at the young age of fourteen, along side Joe Gilgun and Andrew Shim, this modern re-enactment of England puts the country to shame, making this part of the UK seem anyone’s nightmare, making what once was a respectable country turn into an area of hatred, abuse and poverty. Portraying England with realism, This Is England makes me question why the hell am I living here? A society full of crime, hatred among multi cultured citizens and poverty seems to sum up what has become of this place in the last twenty years. With unemployment, acts of crime and the state of the economy at an all time low since the second world war, Meadow’s feature will even question the loyal of English people as to what has become of the world around them.
Containing scenes of very disturbing acts of racism, violence and threat, This Is England kept me on edge from the very beginning, and not in an excited way either! Wondering when the next punch would to take place, or act of misfortune would appear, I must admit the overall viewing experience was not a pleasant one. Unable to watch certain scenes due to the amount of hatred contained, I was shocked to discover the praise This Is England received during its theatrical release. Can acts contained in this really lead to an accolade of awards? Pure hatred is the only theme raised in Meadow’s work.