An sssured but dark film debut from Plan B
Ill Manors (18, 121 mins)
It's a hard knock life for six godforsaken denizens of London in the gritty directorial debut of Ben Drew, aka Plan B.
Purportedly based on real people and real events, Ill Manors pulls no punches in its depiction of the lengths some people will go to in order to survive on the streets of the capital.
It's a visually arresting descent into the darkest recesses of human suffering.
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Drew introduces his central protagonists in the best way he knows how: with a potty-mouthed rap and some similarly gritty imagery. Drug dealer Ed (Ed Skrein) is caught in a police sting and he quickly offloads incriminating evidence to associate Aaron (Riz Ahmed).
Flashbacks to their formative years at St Erica's children's home for boys affirm their fraternal bond.
Ill Manors is an assured debut that uses a robust script as a solid foundation for flashes of directorial brio. The fractured chronology allows Drew to hold back dramatic resolutions to the myriad conflicts until the very last second, intimating hope where there turns out to be none whatsoever.
Rating: Three stars