'It's not the money, I've just got nothing to go home to', says Thomas Turgoose's runaway character in newly released Somers Town, kicking off Meadows' short film and a friendship between two lonely young men from opposite sides of Europe.
Turgoose plays Tomo, a rootless teenager new in London who befriends Marek, the son of a Polish worker living in London'sSomers Town. The area is tucked away between Euston and St Pancras, and is a contained space characterised by a large number families who have lived there for generations. Meadows' film is only possible with recent movements of migrant workers from Eastern Europe, bringing flux and change to an area that has historically been relatively static.
Tomo is the cheeky rascal to Marek's quiet, earnest persona, but as the boys spend time together a strong friendship grows between them. The lovely natural acting style that Meadows encourages the boys to employ endows their unlikely relationship with realism, making the film flow like a warm documentary in the cold urban space of Somers Town.
The project was partly funded by Eurostar, and at times it's hard not to avoid the sensation that you're watching an advert for the corporation, especially at the less feasible conclusion. If you can get over this mildly cynical attempt at a cash-in, you'll appreciate the film's boyish humour and touching content. Like Meadows' explosive and brilliant This is England, the film is blessed with great performances, but you'll come away feeling less shaken up, more uplifted and, if Eurostar get their way, more likely to hop on the train to Paris.
We have three copies of Somers Town to give away to readers who can answer this question: what year was Shane Meadows' acclaimed movie 'This is England' released?
Contest closes 5pm Friday 6 February. Winners will be notified by email.