28 Up Reviews
Those who seemed most set at the age of 7 followed a blueprint of stability - that's not to say it was a calculated choice or even a conscious one, but for most of them, there is a sense of predetermination, a path that keeps them more or less comfortable but rigidly limits them in other ways. It's not something they complain about either; for the most part, they've settled into social complacency, regardless of their class or status. The handful of exceptions - like Peter and Neil - are on paths that are both unpredictable and uncertain.
Even more significant are those who advance well beyond their social upbringing; you get a sense that restrictions within British society are so rigid, the best chance of breaking free is leaving the system altogether (as two individuals did, immigrating elsewhere). But when the film follows their stories with Neil, showing us the other side of "breaking free," the dull allure of conformity and complacency becomes sobering and clear.