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Simon Read [Film Festival 06.19.08] movie review drama

Year: 2008
Release date: Unknown
Director: Shane Meadows
Writer: Paul Fraser
IMDB: link
Trailer: Not available
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 8 out of 10

Shane Meadows has really begun to make a name for himself in British cinema over the last few years, and quite deservedly so. His 2006 film ‘This is England’ won the BAFTA for Best British Film and he follows up, not with a bigger-budget mainstream hit, but with the curious ‘Somers Town’. Shot in black and white and clocking in at 70 minutes, it has the feel of an indie short but delivers plenty of drama, comedy and emotional food for thought in its relatively short running time.

The film concerns a teenage runaway, a young man named Tomo who has fled his native Nottingham hoping for some bright lights in London, only to be violently mugged on his first night on the streets. Tomo soon meets Polish immigrant Marek, a quiet kid who’s never without his camera. Marek lives with his labourer father and delights in taking photos of beautiful French waitress Maria, who works at the local café and enjoys the attention of the two boys. In between flirting with this girl, the boys help out eccentric neighbour Graham for cash to raise money for wine and cheese to give her. When Maria leaves London to return home to Paris the pair are devastated and do what any level-headed person would - get very, very drunk.

Somers Town is wonderful. The performances given by the two leads are pitch-perfect with the standout for me being Piotr Jagiello as Marek, whose comic timing and deadpan manner fit the mood of the film perfectly. Thomas Turgoose, who starred in This Is England, plays Tomo and does a great job as a cocky but vulnerable ne’er do well. It’s hard to fault this film as I think it fulfills exactly what it set-out to do as a thoughtful, at times quite dark, comedy about friendship, family, loneliness and love. Meadows uses the area around St Pancras Station in London to his full advantage, with some stunning shots in satisfying, crisp black and white. Anyone living in the UK at the moment may also appreciate the subject matter of the Polish family trying to make it in Britain, something quite prevalent in the country since the expansion of the European Union. I wait with interest to see what Meadows gets up to next.

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soma (12 years ago) Reply

have you seen. Room for Romeo Brass and Dead Mans shoes.

Amazing films.

Been a fan of shane meadows for a long time.


cyberhal (12 years ago) Reply

any word on distribution?


quietearth (12 years ago) Reply

I totally agree soma, although I've only seen Dead Mans Shoes and This is England.

No word on distro for US yet, but there is a worldwide sales agent.


The Obscure (12 years ago) Reply

An informative review. Sounds a great film.

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