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This is English short film review

Updated: Jul 7, 2020


Directed by: Joe Beverley, Samuel Hurlock

Written by: Liam Wilson

Starring: Jack Doolan, Harry Sherriff, Donna Preston


The title of this short film might make the viewer think of This is England, the 2006 British film about skinheads and racism. Apart from the title, these two films have other similarities, primarily because they are about a particular group of individuals who go against a certain type of people. However This is English is not brutal or dramatic. On the contrary, it is rather funny and enjoyable.

The film begins with a montage of shots of people who appear to be foreigners and therefore would probably have limited english, while a male voice-over explains that he has had enough of them. While at first it is implied that the narrator, Clive (Jack Doolan) dislikes foreigners, it is then revealed that he dislikes anyone who uses wrong English, whether is it misspelling, wrong pronunciation or wrong grammar. And he has formed a group who meat at a pub every week in order to discuss their ideas. The group consists of individuals who are portrayed as pathetic idiots with anger management issues and are willing to use violence against anyone who utilises faulty English.

The screenplay is filled with very clever humour that evolves around people's faulty English. For instance, in one scene the group rush to a fish and chips shop because there has been a catastrophe, which for them means that someone has misplaced an apostrophe. They find out that the owner has put up a sign that reads ''SAMS FISH AND CHIP'S'' and have a go at him. Liam Wilson has done a great job in creating humour of that nature throughout the film.

The film is shot like a documentary. It begins with words announcing that in 2018 they were given permission to film an ''underground organisation that was seeking political retribution''. And the characters in the film often look and speak directly into the camera. A clever technique worth mentioning is the use of the Scrabble board game. The filmmakers use its board and tiles in order to spell out the title of the film at the beginning. And during the closing credits, the camera pans down a close up of a Scrabble board, with the tiles spelling out the names of the filmmakers and cast, while the song ''This is English'' by Mummy is heard. It is a brilliant sequence that wraps up the film perfectly.

This is English can be categorized as a satirical view on discrimination. It portrays the members of the group as delusional with no idea what their purpose really is. It is an entertaining experience, very likely to cause a great deal of laugther.



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