He may be better known in some quarters as hip-hop musician Plan B, but Ben Drew opened up a fresh career for himself as a movie director with his confident debut, Ill Manors
. Drew also wrote the script for this crime drama, which follows the lives of eight characters across seven days in a violence-infested London.
That's a lot to balance for an established director, which makes Drew's achievement with Ill Manors all the more impressive. He juggles intertwining stories with real confidence, and finds interesting angles on themes that have been explored many times before in cinema. It's not an easy film to watch at times, mainly because of its refusal to flinch, but it is a very impressive one.
The disc is bolstered by the inclusion of two further short films, as well as a piece looking at the making of the movie. A series of deleted scenes are included as well. It's a good mix of material here, and there's a lot to explore.
But it's the film that lingers in the mind long after the credits have rolled. Without giving anything away, Ill Manors has its ups and downs, but its confident, impressive and engrossing at its very best. A strong debut from a real talent. --Jon Foster
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted Scenes, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Music Video, Scene Access, Short Film, SYNOPSIS: We are all products of our environment. Some environments are just harder to survive in. Welcome to London, 2012. Home of the Olympic Games. Behind the veil of newly injected prosperity lies a community that's impossible to enter and even harder to escape. After 15 years in prison ex-dealer Kirby wants three simple things; to take back his turf, to get laid and to take revenge on the gangsters who have disrespected him. But a humiliating run-in with his former protégé sparks a chain of violence, vengeance and lethal reprisals that ripple through the community of drug dealers pimps, and innocents all swept up into the cycle of violence and deception. Then there is Aaron, street-wise yet vulnerable, just trying to get by and do the right thing while his ruthless friend Ed will stop at nothing to reclaim a mobile phone leading to deadly consequences. The highly anticipated feature length debut of award-winning musician Plan B (aka Ben Drew) iLL MANORS is an explosive unique crime thriller. Narratively linked through original music from Plan B himself, the film is a groundbreaking, visually stunning and gripping experience, laced with street-wise humour. ...Ill Manors (2012) ( Lenticular )