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What a shame! I was looking forward to this, as I am a single mother
who has lived on a council estate my entire life.
I also quite like Plan B, as my son is a huge fan and I quite like his intelligence as a musician/rap artist.
I was invited to the premiere by my cousin who worked on the movie. He loved it! Not sure how objective he can be though.
It is realistic in the sense that the events do happen in real life. And some of the acting is actually quite good.
But much like Kidulthood and other mediocre attempts at portraying Council Estate life on film, it only shows one shade of the story.
The grim is coupled with the opposite in real life. It is not all doom and gloom etc. I actually doubt how much these young filmmakers seem to know about the complexity of working class life in urban poor London, which I know a lot about.
There is light, there is humour, there is love, there is fun. Show that also! There is more than one shade in the 'endz'. Stop only showing darkness. It is inaccurate and insulting to people such as myself who love films and come from the world they want to portray and make money out of.
I am glad movies are getting made about my world. But please show the whole spectrum.
Plan B is clearly not content with just being a famous
rapper/singer/actor, as he has now tried his hand at directing, with
his debut film ill Manors being released in cinemas today. Set in East
London, the film follows a series of characters from drug dealers to
prostitutes to runaway single mothers as they all struggle to survive
in their poverty stricken area. As you can guess, this is not a
happy-go- lucky sort of film, but nevertheless it's a very good film.
The style taken is very much similar to Pulp Fiction (believe it or not), as each character gets their own little tale, and soon enough they begin to over-lap with one another, creating a sense of community, we see that everybody really does know each other, whether for good or bad. There is also a rapping narrator (played by Plan B himself) which really adds another dimension to the film, it sets itself apart from the usual ''urban drama'' with these little techniques. It's a very brutal film that doesn't hold back either, from violent murders to a woman being pimped out for £10 at a kebab shop, we see it all within 121 mins.
Whilst it is an ''urban'' drama at the end of the day, the film does what Kidulthood/Adulthood/Shank could not do and has a go at actually trying to explore the reasons behind why people join gangs or decide to riddle their body with heroin. None of the central characters have parents, and the film suggests this lack of love creates the violence, it's essentially a film encouraging us to hug a hoodie. Outstanding performance goes to Riz Ahmed, who plays a gangster with some moral fibre trying to get out the area. The only negative is that the film tries to tell us too much, there's so many characters and stories happening that it's hard to keep track and some character get lost in the shuffle. But overall, recommended.
The film is an incredibly accurate portrait of that kind of
environment. It wasn't two-dimensional in that the characters weren't
just purely evil the good in them also showed. I've met all those
characters in the course of my work. The little boys terrorised into
joining the criminal network are just so real. It demonstrated what I
keep telling people: don't say a child chooses to join a gang; there is
no choice. The cycle of brutalisation, with kids brutalising kids, the
girl fights, all of it is so accurate.
I want to get a copy of this film and deliver it to the prime minister and say: "This is another bit of your country that you don't talk about, you don't see, but nevertheless, large numbers of children and young people are trapped in this life." I've already spoken to an MP. I want to organise a showing in parliament. I'm going to call Plan B's people and see if they'll make it happen. For the past 16 years I've been trying to describe what these kids' lives are like. It's very difficult for people to visualise the way they live.
I've been coming to the TIFF for fifteen straight years, and all I can
say is "wow!" If you've seen the trailers at IMDb and YouTube and been
impressed, rest assured that the movie more than delivers on what they
The movie was made on a shoestring, and is quite possibly the greatest shoestring movie ever I sure can't think of any other low budget film that can touch this. If I can luck out on a rush ticket Saturday, it will be the first time I've ever seen a movie TWICE at the festival, (I have a feeling that this film will take time to reach the American market perhaps being toned down in the process -- and I've GOT to see it again.)
This is certainly a helluva directing debut for musician Ben Drew (a.k.a. Plan B) who also wrote the pulsating soundtrack. I've never seen music more effectively tied to visuals than here, whether they're real time, time lapse, or stop action. Especially effective are transitional passages staged as rap music videos.
There's plenty of great acting too, thanks to a large talented ensemble cast of relative unknowns. Especially impressive Is Riz Ahmed as the character who bridges several interconnected stories about life on the mean streets of East London over a several day period. And in a knockout debut, young Ryan De La Cruz is incredible as a naïve 13-year-old out to buy some weed who gets transformed into a killer in a very believable way.
The realism is astounding. I've seen movies like ARGO and END OF WATCH at the fest, and while they were certainly well-made, they seem overly stagey in comparison (although, to be fair, just about ALL movies do). I voted this for best picture on my way out I know that nothing I'm going to be seeing from this point on is going to top this.
Not for the genteel, faint-of-heart, or British accent-averse, but if you're none of the above, prepare yourself for a real treat. Never a dull moment! Feel free to base your expectations on the available trailers and videos they don't deceive in the slightest.
Considering that a year ago I had never listened to a Ben Drew (Plan B)
track, dismissing him out of hand as yet another rap/hiphop wannabe,
and today regarding him as a genuine multi-talented prodigy is an
honest tribute to his unbelievably versatile creativity.
Due in part to the perfect format of a rap narration, in part to the fact that this is a man with his finger FIRMLY on the pulse of a disaffected sector of society and in part to the unforgiving art and poetry of the writing, direction and art direction, I feel that this is a modern masterpiece.
Consider again that this is a directorial debut and was achieved on a budget of merely £100,000, it's almost genius.
John Cooper Clarke, rather surprisingly for me, adds the perfect complementary poetic touch; I had forgotten quite how uncompromising and bleak his words can be.
Reminiscent of Clockwork Orange in its brutal beauty,the story is realistic to the immorality and just plain incomprehension of the consequences within an "underclass" subculture, yet the characters are so finely drawn and portrayed that you feel not only sympathy, but you feel a part of their hopelessness and helplessness.
There was one scene I couldn't watch (no spoilers); watching with my 19 y o daughter, she remarked that it was the first time in a long time that a film had affected her emotionally. She is braver than me for doing so...as it is impossible to un-see anything, so I could not bring myself to watch.
Absolutely beautiful, sad, horrifying and harrowing. Ben Drew, I take my hat off to you and can't wait for the next thing to come out of your remarkable mind.
Saw this the other week at the cinema. Watch a film. Although this type of film has been done before with the likes of 'Kidulthood' and so on, but the material has never been fresher. I'm not Plan B's biggest fan music wise. I think he's very talented and my girl loves him, but I'm more into my underground grime rather than commercial. I did, however, think he did a good job in 'Adulthood' and 'Harry Brown' so I'm guessing I'm more into his acting than his music. And I'm hoping to see a lot more after this. It's the story of different characters who connect in some way or another. Each story filled with tragedy and each character dealing with issues. Plan's B's singing narration before each story is brilliant. This won't be for everyone. There's crackheads, prostitution, pedophiles, drugs and violence but there's also an incredible empathy for even the most horrible characters. There's also some good humour too. The acting's fantastic. With some faces you know and some you don't, each performance is bang on. Overall a deep, very well made film with terrific performances and a truly original style. ****/*****
Ill Manors is a film that does far more than just push the boundaries
previously set by British films such as Kidulthood, Adulthood and Harry
Brown, of which Ben Drew played key roles in. It bends moral boundaries
to a level rarely seen before in British cinema, even when the
character does things for the 'greater good', the brutality of the
streets re balances the already lop sided scales back into darkness,
corruption and greed.
A fantastic blend of black and white re winds, flash backs and present time, in a style similar to that of Pulp Fiction where each characters story gets told and varied perspective on events is shown, on this poor and heartless council estate in London. Narration in the form of a truly brilliant soundtrack by Plan B, and although a surprisingly low amount is used, it makes it all the more effective. The film may seem too much to handle and over worked this couldn't be any further from the truth. What also impressed me was the micro budget Plan B had to work with, and the way he managed to produce such a professional piece with it - he saves a large amount by recruiting local musicians and up and coming actors/actresses to play key roles, though they play them as naturally and effective as any world-renowned star. Throw in some fantastic performances from the young members of the cast, and Ben was on to a winning formula.
The gritty realism will undoubtedly be difficult for some people to even view, let alone understand or relate to. The films climax is one of the most unforgettable and unpredictable I have ever seen in recent years. The extent to which this film impressed and shocked me, in the standard in which is was created, the plot, characters, and actors involved, means Ill Manors easily waltzes into my top 3 of the year so far.
I can only assume that people didn't like this film because it was too
dark, or it simply wasn't their type of film.
If you like films like Kidulthood & Adulthood I can promise you will LOVE this.
I personally thought it was better than the above said films.
Not only was it very well produced and directed, the acting was top notch! I've never seen (or noticed) Ed Skrein in a film before, and he played his part perfectly - Totally believable, and basically a right nasty piece of work.
All the other parts were played excellently too(with maybe the exception of Kirby's character)
It had a great story that keeps you engrossed from beginning to end, it is shocking, harrowing,and some good humor was thrown in too.
After it finished, I text a handful of friends (who I knew would like it) and told them to watch it asap.
Nuff said, 10/10
I ain't gonna beat around the bush here, Ill Manors is one of the best
films I have seem in a long long time, If like me, you enjoy British
drama's like kidulthood, adulthood & wild bill, then this is a
definite!! The acting is superb and very believable.
The Story itself shows a very harrowing tale of different peoples lives living in London, There are drugs, Gangsters, Violence, the lot. But it is very gripping and has you engrossed right from the start til the very end. After watching it, I was in total shock on how much of a Epic film I had just seen. It is THAT Good!!! I would recommend this to any British film fan, it's a must see!! :D
A surprisingly well made film. The rapping narration adds an original
edge to the movie. Compared to 'adulthood.' there is a lack of humor in
this one. there is a darkness to each subplot. and as the film develops
the moral depth increases. One one level there is the satanic message
of 'vengeance is the original sin,' and the film does its best to
deliver this to the viewer amidst urban blood-lust. There are a couple
of references in camera-work to the Texas chainsaw massacre and taxi
driver. the pacing is similar to harry brown. but without the chess
like strategy. instead everything falls together like a stream of
karma. where harry brown nods to the stephen Lawrence case,ill manors
goes more into people trafficking.in this way it shares the vemon of '
taken.' some scenes take a culture of 'meatholes.' and 'heavy-r' and
give you a side step view into this disease of female exploitation. it
is done in a realistic yet artistic way. with a cultural hint of the
terrible crimes towards young girls in the north of england earlier
compared to eight mile this film has the same 'hip -hop.' street vibe, but this being a UK film , everything takes a more claustrophobic eeriness. with some of the footage shot on mobile phones, as a viewer i was left thinking of the similarity to cannibal holocaust in the point of view direction in parts of the movie. ill manors-a document on current the social structure of the western world and the dog eat dog mentality the fuels it.
as ben drew goes into the world of advertising i would recommend this film.as it is not a particularly marketable piece of art. and for that i respect it..
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