Awesome low-budget British flick gets my "best of TIFF" vote (by Art Snob)
I've been coming to the TIFF for fifteen straight years, and all I can say is "wow!" If you've seen the trailers at IMDb and YouTube and been impressed, rest assured that the movie more than delivers on what they promise.The movie was made on a shoestring, and is quite possibly the greatest shoestring movie ever I sure can't think of any other low budget film that can touch this. If I can luck out on a rush ticket Saturday, it will be the first time I've ever seen a movie TWICE at the festival, I have a feeling that this film will take time to reach the American <more>
market – perhaps being toned down in the process -- and I've GOT to see it again. This is certainly a helluva directing debut for musician Ben Drew a.k.a. Plan B who also wrote the pulsating soundtrack. I've never seen music more effectively tied to visuals than here, whether they're real time, time lapse, or stop action. Especially effective are transitional passages staged as rap music videos.There's plenty of great acting too, thanks to a large talented ensemble cast of relative unknowns. Especially impressive Is Riz Ahmed as the character who bridges several interconnected stories about life on the mean streets of East London over a several day period. And in a knockout debut, young Ryan De La Cruz is incredible as a naïve 13-year-old out to buy some weed who gets transformed into a killer in a very believable way.The realism is astounding. I've seen movies like ARGO and END OF WATCH at the fest, and while they were certainly well-made, they seem overly stagey in comparison although, to be fair, just about ALL movies do . I voted this for best picture on my way out – I know that nothing I'm going to be seeing from this point on is going to top this.Not for the genteel, faint-of-heart, or British accent-averse, but if you're none of the above, prepare yourself for a real treat. Never a dull moment! Feel free to base your expectations on the available trailers and videos – they don't deceive in the slightest.
I can only assume that people didn't like this film because it was too dark, or it simply wasn't their type of film.If you like films like Kidulthood & Adulthood I can promise you will LOVE this.I personally thought it was better than the above said films.Not only was it very well produced and directed, the acting was top notch! I've never seen or noticed Ed Skrein in a film before, and he played his part perfectly - Totally believable, and basically a right nasty piece of work.All the other parts were played excellently too with maybe the exception of Kirby's character <more>
It had a great story that keeps you engrossed from beginning to end, it is shocking, harrowing,and some good humor was thrown in too.After it finished, I text a handful of friends who I knew would like it and told them to watch it asap.Nuff said, 10/10
Considering that a year ago I had never listened to a Ben Drew Plan B track, dismissing him out of hand as yet another rap/hiphop wannabe, and today regarding him as a genuine multi-talented prodigy is an honest tribute to his unbelievably versatile creativity.Due in part to the perfect format of a rap narration, in part to the fact that this is a man with his finger FIRMLY on the pulse of a disaffected sector of society and in part to the unforgiving art and poetry of the writing, direction and art direction, I feel that this is a modern masterpiece. Consider again that this is a <more>
directorial debut and was achieved on a budget of merely £100,000, it's almost genius.John Cooper Clarke, rather surprisingly for me, adds the perfect complementary poetic touch; I had forgotten quite how uncompromising and bleak his words can be.Reminiscent of Clockwork Orange in its brutal beauty,the story is realistic to the immorality and just plain incomprehension of the consequences within an "underclass" subculture, yet the characters are so finely drawn and portrayed that you feel not only sympathy, but you feel a part of their hopelessness and helplessness.There was one scene I couldn't watch no spoilers ; watching with my 19 y o daughter, she remarked that it was the first time in a long time that a film had affected her emotionally. She is braver than me for doing so...as it is impossible to un-see anything, so I could not bring myself to watch.Absolutely beautiful, sad, horrifying and harrowing. Ben Drew, I take my hat off to you and can't wait for the next thing to come out of your remarkable mind.
It has been a while since I have been spirited to write a positive review on a film, I'm always drawn though to gritty British street drama by the likes of Shane Meadows This is England, Dead Man's Shoes and Guy Richie, and now I have Ben Drew to look out for. The film borrows the integrating of separate lives genre such as used in Magnolia and Lock Stock with a Rap music throughout, now had I have know that it used rap music in that way I probably would have avoided it like the plague as rap music is just tedious to me under normal circumstances, but the lyrics which add narrative <more>
to the story and backgrounds of the characters is superbly done and despite my prejudice on rap music I have to hold my hands up and say "I have been educated" other music is well chosen and builds nicely to the feel at the time of use in the playout. All acting is good especially so from the lead characters, Chris, Aaron, Ed played by Lee Allen, Riz Ahmed & Ed Skien Respectively. I am shocked however to find according to IMDb that this is Lee Allen's only production...Wow! impressive I'm sure he's going to become one of Britain's household names. If you like this sort of British drama, go see, you will not be disappointed and well done to all concerned.
As important now as La Haine was in 1995 (by dmzavatar)
I can't praise this film enough. As my title references - La Haine was a stark brutal bit of drama / reportage following serious urban rioting in Paris estates and around France that caught politicians unaware and without the tools to understand what was going on. It remains to this day one of the best films I've seen, subtitled or not, and a young Vincent Cassel provides a tour de force in it.In the wake of the London and then UK wide riots, Hug a Hoodie Cameron needs to have a look at this film. It's beautiful in its honest brutality. This Sh*t happens, these mentalities exist <more>
but the really scary thing is that these people even the bastards have been let down from day one care homes etc and have so few choices. The most lucid reflection "never stood a chance" from a lead female protagonist in the least lucid of states rings true.A lot happens, this film is full of detail very deep. I've watched this 3 times and enjoyed it more each time as I could see the whole jigsaw and how cleverly it was done. I'm so impressed with how this director and cast delivered.A great British film.
A searing ride slight spoilers (by PoppyTransfusion)
The film is a rap musical about the lives of drug dealers and prostitutes on a London housing estate i.e. social housing . It is the film debut of Ben Drew aka Plan B as a director and it is a tour de force. This film has one important message relayed over and over by images and lyrics: Look what happens to children when they are abandoned, neglected or abused by their parents and adults. It is such an important message and one that society pays lip service to without reflecting upon what it means. Even in an age well versed in psychology popular thinking undermines and denies the <more>
significance of events in very early childhood. Drew makes sure that his audience 'gets' this message. Not subtle but very gritty.The plot involves a set of characters with intertwined fates. We are introduced to three drug dealers: Chris Lee Allan a solitary operator and one of the 'Mr Bigs' on the estate, or 'manor', and Aaron Riz Ahmed and Ed Ed Skrein childhood friends from the same children's home, who are minor players and petty criminals. We are introduced to two prostitutes also: Michelle Anouska Mond another solitary operator routinely abused by all on the estate and Katya Natalie Press a woman from east Europe who has escaped the human traffickers that brought her to the UK. We learn through lyrics and flashback images the childhoods these characters have survived and the events that lead to their present predicaments. The plot unfolds cleverly bringing all together in a confrontation that proves fatal for one of them.Ben Drew intends that we understand what made the characters the people they are, perhaps even empathise with them, but not sympathise as such or feel sentimentality for them. This is one of the film's strengths. So Chris is presented as an antisocial person with no care or loyalty to anyone and Ed is a thug who mistreats Michelle just because he can. The acting is excellent from the cast, including the many minor roles. The soundtrack is fantastic and I bought the CD as I loved the music so much. The film ends with the searing track Falling Down that knots the intestines but my favourite to listen to as a stand along song is Drug Dealer the story of Chris's life . Drew has used some young rap artists/singers guests on some of the tracks.The finale is shocking and sad in equal measures but the ending offers hope as three of the characters seem to have enough of an awakening to turn their lives around. Fittingly this occurs because of the plight of Katya's baby, underlining the film's focus upon young children and their need for adults to help them grow into healthy adults that can contribute to society in positive ways.My only reservation regarding the film is that if Ben Drew decides to make another film I'm not sure he has anywhere to go in bettering his debut.
The film is an incredibly accurate portrait of that kind of environment. It wasn't two-dimensional in that the characters weren't just purely evil – the good in them also showed. I've met all those characters in the course of my work. The little boys terrorised into joining the criminal network are just so real. It demonstrated what I keep telling people: don't say a child chooses to join a gang; there is no choice. The cycle of brutalisation, with kids brutalising kids, the girl fights, all of it is so accurate.I want to get a copy of this film and deliver it to the prime <more>
minister and say: "This is another bit of your country that you don't talk about, you don't see, but nevertheless, large numbers of children and young people are trapped in this life." I've already spoken to an MP. I want to organise a showing in parliament. I'm going to call Plan B's people and see if they'll make it happen. For the past 16 years I've been trying to describe what these kids' lives are like. It's very difficult for people to visualise the way they live.
Saw this the other week at the cinema. Watch a film. Although this type of film has been done before with the likes of 'Kidulthood' and so on, but the material has never been fresher. I'm not Plan B's biggest fan music wise. I think he's very talented and my girl loves him, but I'm more into my underground grime rather than commercial. I did, however, think he did a good job in 'Adulthood' and 'Harry Brown' so I'm guessing I'm more into his acting than his music. And I'm hoping to see a lot more after this. It's the story of different <more>
characters who connect in some way or another. Each story filled with tragedy and each character dealing with issues. Plan's B's singing narration before each story is brilliant. This won't be for everyone. There's crackheads, prostitution, pedophiles, drugs and violence but there's also an incredible empathy for even the most horrible characters. There's also some good humour too. The acting's fantastic. With some faces you know and some you don't, each performance is bang on. Overall a deep, very well made film with terrific performances and a truly original style. ****/*****
I went to see this film today by chance. Having a unlimited card for a major chain I would go to most things that I think I will like. i had actually bought a ticket for the new Ken Loach movie but decided to drop into this film instead.I was glad I did.I am not from the part of the world in which this film is set, nor do I have much of a knowledge as to Ben Drew /Plan B is. I do know that he grew up in a similar area and in similar circumstances in which many of the characters in this film inhabit.At first I thought it was going to be another below par 'Innit bruv', sub Danny Dyer, <more>
Kidulthood , bad episode of Eastenders. I was familiar with the main actor Riz Ahmed's work on Four Lions and have just recently seen Shifty. He inhabits a very similar character to the one in Shifty and he's journey through the film is the one I was ' rooting for', even thought it was the one that held the least surprises for me.I found the film difficult to watch in many scenes, especially those involving the prostitute characters. The dehumanisation of some of these characters, along with the younger, and as yet to be corrupted characters are the elements of the film that have affected me the most. Each character was important, and had a life beyond the time frame of the film.The film works as a drama, a thriller and as a very strong social comment. This is some achievement. The film is not with out its flaws- the overuse of time lapse at times was a little annoying, and it could maybe be be 15 minutes shorter, but these are small complaints.I was surprised to hear that the film was made for £100,000. If this is true it is some achievement. Even if this is a marketing fib, it is still a very well crafted film.This film is not for everyone. it's subject matter and tone is very oppressive and bleak.If however you like your 'urban grit' to actually be gritty then this is a movie for you.I think that this film deserves a wider audience and I hope it receives one.