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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare is dead; Long live Ben Drew, 1 July 2012
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This review is from: Ill Manors [DVD] (DVD)
I really didn't know what this film would be like: There was very little publicity when this was released - 'The Avengers' took the hype before 'Prometheus' turned up. I didn't even know Ben 'Plan B' Drew was making a film.

Now let's face it, Musicians making films whilst usually financially successful can be hit (Aretha et al turning up in 'The Blues Brothers', Eminem in '8 Mile') or very, very miss ('Spiceworld', the Beatles films are fun but ultimately meh, ditto Elvis, Whitney Houston in 'The Bodyguard' and ...shudders...Vanilla Ice in anything he's been in and Madonna post 'Desperately Seeking Susan').

I heard of Ill Manors (a pun Shakespeare would have written then, pleased with himself, gone home for the day to watch Countdown) through the EP release. A typical thought provoking rap about dysfunctional London - notably the squalor of the East End in the shadow of the Olympics - which underlies the film beautifully.

The film itself, like a Shakespearean tragedy, follows the fortunes of several characters at various places along the scum spectrum. For the most part focussing on two men making their way through London and life selling small amounts of dope and their relationship with familiy, friends and rivals (bitter and respected), it tells of brutality, love and it's replacements, hope and fear and death and violence -as well as self-sacrifice and honour. It has everything a tragedy play should have and truthfully a stage version of this would not be out of place at The Globe.

In many ways a video for a concept album, this is truly superb. Gritty , realistic and yet like life, puntuated with emotion and characters that you can enjoy on many levels, this could well be a gem that many people pass by because of the blockbusters this year.

If you love Plan B you will already be seeking this out. If you don't - or don't like rap/urban music in general - don't let that put you off. It is a small part of a near masterpiece and the rhythym and cadence of the lyrics, sweep you along. As a whole they are infrequent and never obtrusive, serving a role much like a narrator.

A wonderful debut film. My only worry is can he keep such a high quality output going? I really, truly hope so.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Sep 2012 20:52:49 BDT
Looking forward to the 8 mile prequel....7 mile.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2012 20:46:52 BDT
D'oh! Thats the recession I guess..
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