Mr. Sandhu is a shopkeeper who owns various businesses near Nottingham throughout the 80's. He is a minor antagonist in This Is England and a supporting protagonist in ´86 and ´88. He's built like a brick shithouse.
Character History[edit | edit source]
1983[edit | edit source]
In 1983, Sandhu owns a newsagents called Sandhu's News near Shaun's school. Shaun and his mother are among his frequent customers, but Shaun's immaturity often puts him at odds with Sandhu. One day, Shaun goes to the shop and reads a comic before buying it. Sandhu snatches the comic from him, claiming that he's not in a library, and when Shaun argues back, Sandhu bans him from the shop.
Later on, after becoming a skinhead and joining Combo's white nationalist group with Banjo, Meggy and Gadget, Shaun and his new friends plan to rob Sandhu, Shaun's racist views mostly stemming from his bleak encounters with the man. Shaun enters the shop and demands alcohol and tobacco from Sandhu, calling him a "Paki bastard" several times in the process. Sandhu attempts to throw Shaun out physically, but is stopped by Combo who threatens him with a machete while the others take several items from his store without paying. Once alone, Combo speaks severely to Sandhu and threatens to rob him again in the future whenever he pleases before leaving. Sandhu is left visibly shaken, but grateful to still be alive.
1986[edit | edit source]
By 1986, Sandhu owns a hairdressers where he employs Shaun's mum Cynthia, as well as a video shop. As a favour to Cynthia, Sandhu gives Shaun a job in his video shop, and it is implied through his now-amiable relationship with Shaun that sometime after Combo's departure in 1983, Shaun apologised to Sandhu for his earlier actions. Shaun impresses Sandhu with his work to the point that Sandhu trusts him with closing the shop when he has to leave early. However, Shaun's friendship with Sandhu is badly strained when Shaun walks in on Sandhu having sex with Cynthia in her bedroom. Cynthia explains that she and Sandhu are in a relationship and that Sandhu is moving in with them. Furious and hurt by his mother's actions, Shaun leaves home, unwilling to live in the same house as Sandhu. Out of guilt, Sandhu moves out in the hopes that Shaun will go back home. Later on, however, Shaun apologises to his mother and blesses her relationship with Sandhu.
1988[edit | edit source]
By 1988, Sandhu has moved in with Shaun and Cynthia permanently and is now something of a stepfather to Shaun. At one point, he is seen singing to a karaoke version of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" on stage with Banjo, Gadget, Harvey and Milky (implying that the other members of Combo's original gang made amends with Sandhu as well), and later on, he watches Shaun perform in the Christm\ play with Cynthia and the rest of the gang. After Shaun's relationship with Smell ends disastrously after she catches him having sex with Fay, Sandhu comforts a devastated Shaun. In the final scene, he is shown having Christmas dinner with Shaun and Cynthia.
1990[edit | edit source]
Mr Sandhu is seen briefly in Shaun's house, in the flashback sequences of his threat by Combo, and then at the end at Woody and Lol's wedding.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In This Is England, Sandhu's role is very similar to that of fellow Pakistani newsagent owner Shahid Ali in To Be A Somebody, the fourth episode of the television series Cracker:
- Both Sandhu and Ali are Pakistani shopkeepers who have a dispute with a main white character in the beginning of the story over a trivial matter, with Shaun and Albie Kinsella, respectively.
- Both Shaun and Albie return to their respective shops later in the story as skinheads, repeatedly racially abusing Sandhu and Ali and even threatening them with knives (though in Sandhu's case it is Combo who uses the knife).
- Both Sandhu and Ali order Shaun and Albie to leave while coming out from behind the counter. While Sandhu physically wrestles Shaun towards the door, Ali merely walks up to Albie to show him no fear.
- The main difference is that Albie stabs Ali while Combo merely threatens Sandhu with the knife and leaves without harming him, though not without threatening to "slay him where he stands".