”This is England” is about a 12-year-old boy named Shaun. He lives in England and is bullied in/at school. He lives alone with his mother because his dad died in war. One day he meets a group of skinheads who wants him to join their group. Even though Shaun is young, he is not afraid of the skinheads. He joins the group and quickly becomes their favorite member. Shaun has probably been forced to act older than he is, because of his dads’ early death. In the movie he makes out with an older girl, goes to skinhead meetings, and joins the nationalists, which all is unusual for such a young boy.
He easily gets influenced by the apparent friendliness from the group. Woody is the leader of the skinhead group. He is the one who welcomes Shaun and teaches him how to be a real skinhead. In the beginning he is a role model to Shaun and he helps him to deal with his problems. Woody’s girlfriend Lol helps him too. She cuts his hair, and is being really nice to him. Woody and Lol are like a substitute father and mother to him. Finally Shaun has a sense of belonging somewhere. “The skinheads” is a group of people who really care about him.
Especially when he meets Smell, he finds out what it feels like to be in love. Milky is another member of the group. He is the only black person and when Combo shows up that causes him troubles. Combo is a skinhead too, who has been to prison for the last couple of years. He has now returned, and wants the other members of the group to join the nationalist movement and protest against the war. Combo has some racist views, and when he starts talking bad about the blacks no one in the group stands up for Milky. The group split up, and Shaun chooses to join Combo’s group together with 3 others.
Combo is now his new role model, and he uses the death of Shaun’s father to convince him that what they are doing is right. Shaun is manipulated and cannot see how far out he is before it is too late. They rob a little store, threaten people and paint graffiti. One day Combo and Milky smokes crack, and suddenly Combo burst out with anger and starts hitting Milky. He gets badly wounded and is taken to hospital. Shaun realizes that what they are doing is wrong. He talks to his mother about how they both miss his father.
He throws out the Union Jack flag which Combo has given him, which is a symbol of the facts that he is now done with the skinheads. Somehow, the whole thing has helped Shaun to deal with his grieve. Even though he misses his dad, he finds out that there is more in life than taking revenge. He steps of the illegal path he has been following and decides to become a proper person. His intention was never to hurt anyone, because he knows what it feels like to be hurt. A chapter of his life is over and done with, and a brand new one is about to be written.
Courtney from Study Moose
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