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Somers Town


Year: 2008 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Shane Meadows 
Starring: Thomas Turgoose, Perry Benson, Piotr Jagiello, Ireneusz Czop and Kate Dickie.  
An image from Somers Town

Director Shane Meadows and star Thomas Turgoose re-team after 2006’s BAFTA winning “This is England” to bring us “Somers Town”, a tender portrait of two misfit friends living in Central London. After running away from his home in the Midlands, Tomo (Turgoose) meets a young Polish immigrant called Marek (newcomer Piotr Jagiello) and the pair proceeds to steal clothes, get pissed and fall in love with a French waitress.

A marked downshift in intensity from Meadows’ more recent projects, “Somers Town” contains some gritty elements but opts instead for a lighter, crowd-pleasing tone. While this does make it feel slightly less substantial in comparison, it still has much to recommend it as the director’s darker fare.

For example, the cross-cultural relationship between the two boys is handled perfectly; amusing, affectionate but never mawkish or over-sentimental. Turgoose and Jagiello have chemistry in spades and just watching the two of them interact proves to be the movie’s greatest pleasure. The humour too is also extremely effective. One scene in particular involves the lead characters having to steal clothes from a launderette, resulting in one of the best sight gags of recent memory as Tomo is forced to reveal his new outfit. While it’s brisk running time may betray the origins of the film (it was originally intended to be a short), this ensures that the pacing never lags and the characters never outstay their welcome.

A feel-good movie with brains, “Somers Town” is a worthy addition to the filmography of one Britain’s best filmmakers.

Phil Goldie

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Screenings of this film:

2008/2009 Spring Term (35mm)