Somers Town (2008) is fresh and lighthearted coming of age story that has real-life charm and drama. It is serious yet fun look at growing up. The people you meet and the situations you get into, as well as your dreams, truly shape who you are. Being filmed in black and white gives it a clean feel that enables you to focus on the events and characters without distraction. The original music by Gaven Clark is refreshing and perfectly fits the style of the film.
Tomo (Thomas Turgoose) has just arrived by train in the Somers Town area of London after leaving his hometown of Nottingham. He is an extremely open and chatty young man that befriends a lady, Jane, on the train. Meanwhile, Marek (Piotr Jagiello) is walking with his dad (Ireneusz Czop) to his job where he is working on a new track for the train. Marek goes off on the town taking photographs along the way. That evening Marek and his dad head home for some diner that Marek cooks up in their cramped kitchen. They enjoy each others company and have fun and open chats about life while learning the English language. They moved from Poland looking for a new start after his marriage failed. The shy and reserved Marek takes to the streets again to photograph at night after his father goes out for a nightcap.
Tomo is out on the streets trying to get someone to buy him some beer. With only an army style duffel bag and the clothes on his back he is in for a rough road to make a life in London. When he is relaxing some local kids come upon him and start slightly pestering him for a drink and start bothering him a little – after they finish his beer he attempts to get away. They catch up to him in the ally and beat him up really bad and take all of his things. With no money or clothes and nowhere to turn he looks up Jane (Kate Dickie) from the train. She buys him lunch and gives him a little cash to get the train back home to where he ran away from.
Tomo spots Marek looking and some pictures in the restaurant. He is taken back by the beauty of the women in the photographs, as is Marek. Marie is from Paris and works as a local lunch spot. The two quickly become friends and start what will become a very memorable summer of their younger years. They meet Graham, who is an odd neighbor that recruits the boys to help him with a little venture of his and offers life guidance. Without his dad’s knowledge Marek has Tomo staying in his room with him. They spend their days pining for Maria and just being teenagers in London.
9 out of 10 – I really liked this movie. The true to life and sometimes crass script is flawlessly acted by the cast. It has a soothing quality and the moments of difficulty offset by funny situations bring this film together so well. I wish the movie never ended; I even watch it again a couple days later and enjoyed it even more. This is a wonderful film for just about everyone to watch – be sure to pick up this independent film when it comes out on DVD in December.