The series begins in 2019 and tells about the life of a large British family: grandmother Mariel (Anne Reid) and her four grandchildren and granddaughters – Daniel (Russell Tovey), Stephen (Rory Kinnear), Rosie (Ruth Madeley) and Edith (Jessica Hynes).
Daniel works as a Housing Officer, looking for and arranging housing for refugees. He is openly gay. Daniel broke up with his partner Ralph and became infatuated with Ukrainian refugee Viktor Goraya (Max Baldry). A referendum was held in Ukraine, as a result of which Russia actually occupied Ukraine. Russia have lists of those who voted against in the referendum, and uniform persecution is unleashed against these people: they are arrested and tortured. Victor is one of those who voted against and he was harassed and tortured. Goraya managed to leave the country, but it is not yet known whether he will be able to stay in the UK: for this, he must prove that his life was in danger in Ukraine. Daniel, of course, takes an ardent part in the fate of Victor.
Stephen is a financial advisor. Married to Celeste (T’Nia Miller), a British woman of African descent. They have two girls – Ruby and Bethany.
Rosie was born with spina bifida, so she uses a wheelchair. At the same time, she is very energetic and active. She gave birth to a child from a Chinese man who was not informed that he now has a child.
Well, Edith (Jessica Hynes) is a political activist. Fights for the environment, participates in all sorts of protest demonstrations.
The whole family is watching a certain businesswoman, expert Vivien Rook (Emma Thompson) perform on TV. Vivienne does not hesitate to tell the truth – for example, that she does not care about what is happening there between Israel and Palestine – she believes that the British should first of all solve their own problems.
Further in the series, in six hour-long episodes, the next fifteen years of the life of this family are shown. Political turmoil, trade wars, Trump’s second term, a real war between America and China, economic upheaval, populist Vivienne Rook enters politics, becomes the country’s prime minister and tries to solve the refugee problem in her own way.
Everything that happens, of course, greatly affects the life of the family, but at the same time, the series shows that people are gradually getting used to such things that initially cause absolute shock.
Great series, loved it. And the idea is very good, and the implementation. World upheavals on the example of an ordinary family, the development of modern technologies. It’s well done that the show’s creator, Russell T Davis, doesn’t do any moralizing. He does not take sides, he simply reflects reality and constructs the future, which, on the one hand, cannot really be predicted, but the way everything is developing now shows that such assumptions are quite plausible.
What, a showman and a populist cannot come to power in the UK? Yes, easily, he has already arrived, his name is Boris Johnson. What, the US can’t fire a nuclear bomb on a Chinese island? It can be easy, they have already slandered twice on the Japanese island. What, Russia cannot occupy Ukraine? Events since 2014 have shown that with a certain person in power, even such a fantastic scenario is, unfortunately, quite possible in reality. Especially “according to the results of the referendum.”
But the creator of the series does not specifically focus on these things, he shows how this affects, first of all, a particular family. How does the right-wing prime minister affect the family and its entourage, how does their life change. And all this against the background of ordinary everyday life. Family problems and scandals, children of the digital age and their hobbies – this is more than interesting to watch.
Some moments are really scary. Especially when the whole family gathers for a gala dinner, and suddenly the sirens begin to howl. (That’s when the USA got slammed in China.) Also, the scene with the attempt to rescue Viktor Goray, whom Daniel is trying to bring back to the country, really touches the soul: there is such a feeling of powerlessness, doom and hopelessness … And especially Victor’s explanation to Steven, how it is even possible to drown during a storm, while wearing a life jacket.
Played very well. Emma Thompson flaunts on the poster of the series, it also seems from the promo video that she is almost the main character here, but this is absolutely not the case: her character is very episodic, she is more like a symbol here. Emma played Vivien Rook excellently and, by the way, I would not refuse to watch a series about this character: how she gradually enters politics, how she becomes prime minister and what happens because of this.
By the way, I met this summary of this series: “The story of the outrageous Vivien Rook, who turns into a scandalous political figure. She is a politician of a new formation. A showwoman, a rebel, a charlatan. and does not bode well for the future. Now, this is complete nonsense. The story of the outrageous Vivien Rook in 360 minutes of the series is shown, God forbid, for ten minutes.
The Daniel-Victor couple is very touching. Russell T Davis is openly gay himself, he wrote the script for the series when his partner was dying of cancer, so this topic is very personal for him. This relationship is told very delicately and accurately, and Daniel’s struggle to get Victor back looked like a real feat.
Stephen is very good, who at first seems to be the most boring – a kind of ordinary British humble employee – but there will be a lot of interesting things with him: he loses a lot of money due to all sorts of economic shocks and is forced to work as a bike messenger to earn at least some money. His wife Celeste was perfectly played by T’Nia Miller: a bright woman, a bright and quite dramatic role. The story of her rapprochement with Grandma Mariel is also great, although at first they couldn’t stand each other.
Well, from the world of the digital age, there is an interesting story about how the daughter of Stephen and Celeste Bettany wants to become a trance, but not in terms of sex change, but in terms of becoming a digital person – to transfer her consciousness to digital form. Bettany wears an ever-changing digital mask on her face for a while, which obscures her real face. It also shows how Bettany’s friend is undergoing an illegal operation to implant a special camera into her body: this operation is performed on a ship belonging to either Russia or Slovaks.
The series was released this summer, it did not cause much excitement, but in vain: it is well done and, in my opinion, very worthy of viewing. I found out about it quite by accident (my brother recommended it, he, like me, loves British TV series) and I am pleased that I watched it.
I can’t say anything about dubbing / voice acting, I didn’t have a Russia track at all. I saw versions with Amedia dubbing in torrents.
By the way, the name, of course, would be more correct to translate as “Years passed”, and not just “Years”.
PS Well, there is a great moment in the last episode when a grandmother at a family dinner 15 years later says: “We are all to blame for what happened to this country. We are all to blame for this, we all allowed it. We built it all” .
Years and Years movie meaning
Director: Russell T Davies Cast: Emma Thompson, Rory Kinnear, T’Nia Miller, Russell Tovey, Jessica Hynes, Anne Reid, Ruth Madeley, Glen McCready, Jade Alleyne, Lydia West
Series, UK, 2019, 60 min. 6 episodes