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DVD Review

DVD cover

Somers Town


Starring: Thomas Turgoose, Piotr Jagiello, Kate Dickie, Perry Benson and Elisa Lasowski
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £17.99
Certificate: 12
Available 12 January 2009

Like many young people before him Tomo flees to London in search of a new life. like His first experience is one of sleeping on the street and losing all his possessions to thugs. What looks to be a downward spiral is halted when he meets a young polish lad, who shares much of his sense of alienation. Allowed to sleep beneath his bed the two boys begin a touching friendship centred on their mutual admiration of a local French waitress...

Somers Town (2008) is Shane Meadows directorial follow up to the brutal This is England (2006). The film, written by Paul Fraser, was nominated for four awards at the British Independent Film Awards. Shot mostly in black and white, it started life as a short film, funded by Eurotunnel.

In this latest film Meadows shows a softer side to his film making with this touching story of two unlikely friends, who have little in common apart from a lot of time on their hands and their romantic fascination with a French woman. The film also revolves around the relationship between the boys and a slightly dodgy wheeler dealer called Graham (Perry Benson), for whom the boys sometimes work, and their growing dependence on each other.

Overall the film is well worth a watch with a couple of caveats. The first is that, in parts the film drags, betraying its origins as a short that has been extended to a feature. And secondly, although they both put in good performances, neither Thomas Turgoose nor Piotr Jagiello have the screen presence to take the lead in a film.

The disc is supplied with both a 2.0 and a 5.1 audio track with optional subtitles, though you’d be hard pressed to tell much difference between the two.

The disc is blessed with a good number of extras, there are three interviews with Perry Benson (5 min, 38 sec), Thomas Turgoose and Piotr Jagiello (6 min, 20 sec) and Shane Meadows (14 min, 41 sec). More importantly for potential film makers is Shane Meadows’s Master Class at the Tribeca Film Festival (21 min, 16 sec), though this turns out to be mostly amusing anecdotes about his early career, still worth a watch though. The extras are finished off with some TV spots and the trailer.

If you’re a fan of Meadows's work then this bittersweet tale will be a worthy addition to your collection. Likewise if you are unaware of him as a filmmaker then I suggest you start her before delving into his darker films.


Charles Packer

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