Sunday, 3 October 2010

Please CH4 May I Have Some More?

'This is England '86' was superb. I enjoyed 'This is England' the feature film so much and when Channel 4 started advertising a 4 part follow up drama written by Shane Meadows and Jack Thorne I was EXCITED!

I felt the first 2 episodes were a bit slow to be honest and although well acted (and beautifully shot) it felt there was something missing, Shane Meadows directed the last 2 eps, maybe it was just a coincidence but his episodes turned the drama from enjoyable to mesmerising for me. Maybe they had to establish a lot for the portion of their audience who hadn't seen 'This is England'.

The acting and sense of ensemble was incredible, the real magic for me was in the mainly improvised scenes of which there seemed many in ep 3-4. It really came through how much the actors knew and trusted each other and knew their characters inside out.

For obvious reasons Vicky McClure and Johnny Harris' performances really stood out. The intensely disturbing scenes of violence, despair and sexual violence were so shocking and conveyed so realistically that I was left feeling shaken and physically sick which is exactly how we should feel witnessing such horrific acts.

I do have a problem with the amount of 'quality' drama that employs some of our most talented actresses to portray victims of violence, there are other stories out there for women to tell but that's possibly another post and does not in any detract from my appreciation of Danielle Watson and Vicky McClure's performances.

The final scenes of redemption for the previous film's protagonist Combo were incredibly powerful and stayed with me for days. All in all: I LOVED it and now that Big Brother is finally dead and buried I sincerely hope to see more from Channel 4, they have after all announced a new drama budget born from BB's demise suggesting I have reason to hope.

"The real object of the drama is the exhibition of the human character."
- Thomas Babington Macaulay

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