Ill Manors (18)

Film

Riz Ahmed_Ill Manors.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Dec 20 2011

‘Are you sitting comfortably?’ That’s rapper Plan B talking at the start of his first film (written and directed under his real name Ben Drew; the soundtrack album is out next month ). It’s a trick question. He doesn’t want you to be comfortable with this angry, battering ram of a film – set around Forest Gate in east London where he grew up. In his own life, Drew was born with a one-in-a-million talent – like some God-given lottery-win. That, with a bit luck and elbow-grease, got him out of Forest Gate. His film is about the people he left behind: you show me a chav, and I’ll show you a kid who’s been let down, kicked down, abused, excluded. ‘Ill Manors’ isn’t perfect, but it gets under the skin – despairing, brutally eloquent and frighteningly real.

You can almost sense the frenzy of ideas whirling about inside Drew’s head – and his script goes into storytelling overdrive. Everything in the film is true, he says – something he’s read in a newspaper or that’s happened to friend. And it’s relentless, without a chink of hope. A crack-addicted prostitute steals a phone from drug dealer Ed (Ed Skrein). To pay for a new one, he marches her from pub to chicken shop to kebab shop, pimping her out until she can hardly walk (late in the night, bored, he offers two men a 2-for-1 deal). His mate Aaron (Riz Ahmed, brilliant, as ever) is vaguely troubled watching this, but not enough to stop it.

Taking a leaf out of Ken Loach’s rulebook, Drew casts mostly non-pro actors. He’s even given his godfather a role as a fortysomething drug dealer not long out of prison who plies a 14-year-old with crack to get her into bed. There’s at least one plotline too many here (one involving a trafficked sex worker feels tacked on, as does Ed’s scheme to sell a baby). But Drew hammers home the dog-eat-dog psychology on the street. And all the while he shows his characters as children in flashback. Aaron and Ed grew up in care (Ed, perhaps coincidentally, looks strikingly like photos we saw on the news of Baby P, an angelically blond, blue-eyed toddler). When does a vulnerable child stop being a victim, Drew seems to ask? When he picks up his first joint? His first knife? When he looks old enough to steal your phone?

There are plenty of flaws here, but instinctively ‘Ill Manors’ feels important – like some British films of the 1980s (‘Meantime’, ‘Scum’) that spoke of a generation out of work and out of hope. Today’s problems feel more serious (or do we always think that in hard times?). Everyone’s talking about Plan Bs at the moment. I’m not sure this Plan B has all the answers, but he sure as hell knows the problem.

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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Wed Jun 6, 2012

Cast and crew

Director:

Ben Drew

Screenwriter:

Ben Drew

Cast:

Natalie Press, Mem Ferda

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|25
1 person listening
sky

i love hannah montana betta than plan b ill manors it to violent it efects my education and i dont like watchin ppl taking drugs infrount well on the tv but its the same thing really n all the dirty prostitutes on the film make me sick in a bad way also i think the guy who saved the baby from the burnin hose is well fit buff ting in this film bangtidy :) roller skates

sky

i love hannah montana betta than plan b ill manors it to violent it efects my education and i dont like watchin ppl taking drugs infrount well on the tv but its the same thing really n all the dirty prostitutes on the film make me sick in a bad way also i think the guy who saved the baby from the burnin hose is well fit buff ting in this film bangtidy :) roller skates

kWINZEY

It makes a refreshing change for a director to really get the story they are telling. Real life insight makes this story so much better. No glorification, just the brutal, hardcore truth of a ghetto life!

kWINZEY

It makes a refreshing change for a director to really get the story they are telling. Real life insight makes this story so much better. No glorification, just the brutal, hardcore truth of a ghetto life!

Honest Paul

Brilliant gritty British film ,Rapping,singing,song writing,acting,script writing,directing,what next Ben?

Honest Paul

Brilliant gritty British film ,Rapping,singing,song writing,acting,script writing,directing,what next Ben?

gary

I think this film is the best film i have seen since Scum.Well directed and very well acted.Done a low budget but pure quality,

gary

I think this film is the best film i have seen since Scum.Well directed and very well acted.Done a low budget but pure quality,

Jools

Now Plan B - now a rich boy himself - has pulled the plug on Forest Gate. The film left me feeling for the public sector workers - teachers, social workers, council officers etc., - trying to make this place better, but now dealing with the most ferocious attack. Surely not everyone in Forest Gate is like this? God knows, I won't be going there to find out. It doesn't compare with Nil by Mouth, which was a less dramatic, but more gruelling film. I wasn't sure I liked the format of showing a little film of the character's back story then bursting into a rap about them - it was a bit like Plan B, The Musical and quite unsubtle and simplistic. Why could he not weave the back story into the character's words and actions? How anyone could mention the genius 'Lars' in the same breath as Ben Drew, is unfathomable. However, it is a good debut and Ben Drew obviously wants to show the world how difficult life is growing up on the extremes of society

critique

Totally gripping drama buzzing with energy and ideas. Supremely naturalistic and expertly soundtracked. This is an outstanding debut. Four and a half stars.

critique

Totally gripping drama buzzing with energy and ideas. Supremely naturalistic and expertly soundtracked. This is an outstanding debut. Four and a half stars.

Ian

An excellent film showing the social underclass at work and play in East London. It is very depressing as there seems to be a non stop treadmill of individuals with no hope or expectations. Excellently acted the despair is heart breaking. A story that needs a wider audience. Sadly I fear that the people who need to see it won't be able to do so becuase of the 18 cert. A few cuts to get a 15 may have been a better idea to get a good story across to a much wider audience.

Darren Smith

Feels like I've just jumped out of a plane without a parachute. Drew may miss out on the Mayhem and black humour of Guy Ritchie but the journey the viewer embarks on caused some people to walk from the screening whilst others left at the end comfortable that their pretty suburban district is a far cry from the suburban jungle. Sleep tight.........BRILLIANT.

Darren Smith

Feels like I've just jumped out of a plane without a parachute. Drew may miss out on the Mayhem and black humour of Guy Ritchie but the journey the viewer embarks on caused some people to walk from the screening whilst others left at the end comfortable that their pretty suburban district is a far cry from the suburban jungle. Sleep tight.........BRILLIANT.

Jemma Leeds

I don't understand the fuss about a generic crime flick. The film would mean nothing without all the PR heaped on it trying to draw "political" significance about "broken Britain". But that has nothing to do with the film, only the social context in which it's landed. The ending was so bad it reminded me of an Xmas Eastenders episode

john o sullivan

Astonishing.. best British film since Nil by Mouth... If the directors first mame was Aki, Lars or Michael this would be bomberded with 5 stars Best film of the year by a mile

john o sullivan

Astonishing.. best British film since Nil by Mouth... If the directors first mame was Aki, Lars or Michael this would be bomberded with 5 stars Best film of the year by a mile

Ian Fink

In this age of rampant malignant narcissism there is hope that a social conscience still exists. I couldn't care less about the 'aunthenticity' of Plan B's roots, this rocks. It is unlikely to change social attitudes and may even cement the prejudices of the unempathic and entitled. Like Eminem you either get this or you don't, and that insight can only come from personal experience . There's no shame in not getting it. We are all products of social conditioning, A society that demonises it's own dispossessed however is spiritually and morally bankrupt. Good to see someone giving a voice to the 'scum of the earth'. What you lookin at you little rich boy ? FINK

Ian Fink

In this age of rampant malignant narcissism there is hope that a social conscience still exists. I couldn't care less about the 'aunthenticity' of Plan B's roots, this rocks. It is unlikely to change social attitudes and may even cement the prejudices of the unempathic and entitled. Like Eminem you either get this or you don't, and that insight can only come from personal experience . There's no shame in not getting it. We are all products of social conditioning, A society that demonises it's own dispossessed however is spiritually and morally bankrupt. Good to see someone giving a voice to the 'scum of the earth'. What you lookin at you little rich boy ? FINK