Film Review – Ill Manors

My new year’s resolution is to write more. More travel, film, literature and if possible, musings on life. I begin with a return to my biggest passion, cinema and Plan B’s London-a-crumbling drama, Ill Manors.

As a born and bred Londoner, I’ve been witness to its brilliance, beauty, horrors and incredible social divide. Beneath the 2012 Olympics sheen is a city still struggling to free itself from severe integration issues, crime, youthful indifference and a cycle of violence and poverty.

Ben Drew (rapper Plan B’s real name) is no stranger to these societal concerns and neither is his film, a sprawling yet intimate look at the despair littering the Capital’s streets thanks to broken homes, drug abuse, gang culture and an abandoned generation that has nowhere to turn.

The picture painted on screen is relevant, shocking and deeply moving in parts. It’s unflinching in its depiction of everything deemed wrong by society, but it is unapologetic. It’s merely people getting by the only way they know how, often with tragic results to its characters and those around them.

Its score – written by Drew – is particularly apt at capturing the fact that this is nothing new and nor will it end any time soon. This is London’s underbelly and like the sparkling City skyscrapers, bustling West End and leafy suburbs, it is a side that will always be there.

It’s London, innit.


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