When I first saw the advert for this film, I immediately thought, "This looks so typical". (Typical of what, I couldn't really say, so why I had that thought in my head is beyond me. I guess my thoughts are the obvious reactions of being human. We criticise in most part without enough evidence to be accurate or even in most cases, valid).
 
With the above conclusion of my thoughts in mind, I reasoned that I must "give the film a chance” and I'm so glad that I did.
 
Now this was released on the big screen a few months ago however if you haven't seen it then may I suggest making a journey to your local Blockbuster or if that's too 'ol skool' for you then checkout Lovefilm who will even stream it to your TV in your yard.
 
How good is this film? Read on and discover for yourself…. 
 
Now remember before watching this film I knew very little factually about it. I knew that the main actor in the film was Asian (I didn't even know his name) and that he had starred in the film "3 lions." I also "knew" that Plan B starred in this film. Actually, he doesn't but then again, he does (confused? keep reading and all will be made understandable).
 
I remember sitting in the cinema tweeting words such as "gritty" and "great GRIME soundtrack", I stand by these statements and include sentences that support the previous comments.
 
The main character in the film is Aaron who's played by the excellent Riz Ahmed. For those who don't know, Aaron is a Jewish name and Ahmed is clearly a Muslim surname but there appears to be no conflict from the Actor which if this attitude was translated to the middle east, we would have real PEACE eh ("JustSaying" as we say in Tweetland). 
 
Aaron spent his life in the care system, which clearly didn't do a good job in caring for him or Ed, played by the Music artist Ed Skrein, who both work together on the streets dealing.
 
Another character worthy of mention is Chris, played by Lee Allen who got into the game from an early age due to Mum being into drugs and not having the ability to say "No" to the boys (if you get me drift!).
 
Now Chris was a young skinny kid man-handled by even the wind. However, as he gets older, he develops size and a menacing grin that would turn milk. Here is an interview with Chris about his role in the film which I recommend. 
 
Other main characters include Michelle, (played by the very beautiful Anouska Mond) who's a Prostitute with a heart.
 
So now you know the main characters, here's the plot...
 
"ILL Manors" is a multi-character story, set over the course of seven days in Forest Gate, London, where everyone is fighting for respect. The film mainly focuses on the characters I've previously mentioned and their circles of violence, as they struggle to survive on the streets. Each story weaves into one another, painting an ultra-realistic gritty picture of their world which could end at any point. Each story is also represented by a different rap song which is written by Ben Drew and sung by Plan B, (are they one and the same?)
 
The script for iLL Manors was partly based on actual events, such as Director of the movie Drew's home being raided by armed police, and a girl that he knew prostituting herself to repay a drug dealer.
 
The film had been in development for three years prior to filming; however Drew struggled to secure finance for it.
 
Prior to writing the script for iLL Manors, when Drew was 21 years old he had originally tried to begin production on another script he had written called Trigger, but he was refused funding as he was an inexperienced director.
 
In order to gain experience, in 2008 Drew directed his own short film “Michelle”, starring Anouska Mond, Adam Deacon and Ed Skrein. The short film was released online and acted as a pilot for iLL Manors.
 
Drew, aka Plan B, also directed the music video for "Pieces", his collaboration with Chase & Status, and also had roles in Adulthood (2008) and Harry Brown (2009) Turnout (2011); iLL Manors were green lit for production in 2009 as part of the Film London Microwave scheme.
 
Now you know a bit about the plot, how good is it? After watching it I tweeted "@gmanZen: An absolutely fantastic #BritFlick #iLLManor. A cross between #Crash and #BoysInTheHood #UKstyle. The very best of British. So sad really…” When I say "so sad' what I'm saying is that this film truly shows you life on the streets for those who live it. 
 
My opinion for what its worth is if you really want to understand some of the issues facing someone growing up in clearly a different world and you want to help the young disadvantaged who are into gangs is this: “Watch this film.”
 
If a person is contemplating a life in the community that is called gang, my advice is: "Watch this film."
 
To be honest, if you want to understand the issues being faced by a section of society that only gets a mention when they do wrong and never when they do right then my advice is: "Watch this film."
 
Now what would I compare this film to? Well, it is unashamedly British in feel, but an American equivalent would be "Boys ‘N' da Hood" and is a masterpiece in my opinion.
 
The language is raw and the scenes of violence is even more so; however it deserves to be seen by all those who want to see the seedy side of life and more importantly, understand it.
 
From listening/seeing the sentences given out to the six young men (totalling 147 years) in Birmingham who fired at least 12 bullets at the Police during the Riots of 2011, it appears the Government’s "Plan A" is to incarcerate the young who for varying reasons either choose or, based on limited options, have chosen an existence that will get them a criminal record very quickly. 
 
Remember the convicted killers of Stephen Lawrence were given under 16 years each. 
 
I'm not condoning what the shooters did but my final word to the Government is this: "Plan A ain't working, try Plan B“..... 
 
Gman
Strategist
ZeN Journalist
Twitter: @gmanzen 
"what's the 411?"
Soon there was www.ZeN411.co.uk 
you know it makes sense........

Article by @gmanzen / 22nd October 2012

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REVIEW: iLL Manors