This is a powerful movie exploring important and pervasive themes of our humanity. It is not merely about disenfranchised youth as some have commented, although that is the primary story. It is also about how fragile we all are, and how even our parents are incapable of transcending their own failures. From suicide to a gradual decent into mental ill-health, the characters are forced to adapt, although some know that in order to break out of the destructive cycle they find themselves in, they need to remove themselves from the very environment in which they find acceptance and identity. If they don't then the pervasive violence, corruption, alcoholism and human defeat, will overwhelm them. Phil (John Simm) knows this, although he is unsure of how to break free of both his past and his present. He looks after his alcoholic father, who seems to have accepted his unfortunate state of affairs. Yet there is genuine affection between the two, as they are both tragically affected by the death of his mother. Ted (Andrew Lincoln) is perhaps the brightest of the lot, and his choice to 'disappear' is only understood towards the end of the movie. He leaves not to abandon his friends, or their lives together, but to mould an identity and way of life for himself. If he stayed, he would be absorbed into the perpetual cycle of drink, drugs and temporary gratification, without any means or vision allowing for a different future.
Phil too must make a decision, as his life sits on the cutting edge of both destruction and purpose. Will he make the right choice, or will he become absorbed by those around him. Will he in defeat accept his lot, and merely survive the dull life of Stevenage. Or will he refuse to allow such, and rage against the life which seeks to hold him back?
Powerfully told, with excellent casting and acting. A horribly under-rated gem of a movie.