In many ways an extremely impressive feature debut for any filmmaker, this low-budget effort is an artistic extension of the music of one Plan B (rapper and singer Ben Drew) who writes and directs, and an obviously deeply personal one. This is far from an easy watch at times, but Drew paints his film with interesting characters and does a superb job with the mostly inexperienced cast. It almost collapses under its own indulgence at points, but this is still stirring stuff.
Focusing on a group of youths in Urban London, this gritty film takes in (a lot of) drug dealing, a bit of murder and a dash of prostitution. Told through the eyes of several characters, all seemingly intertwined in some way, you get the feeling that this won't end well for most. Throw in the Russian mob, a battered sex slave and a new born baby and shit gets really gloomy.
Remarkably assured at points, cluttered in others, if Drew had've shaved off fifteen minutes and a narrative strand or two, we'd be dealing with the best British debut film since Matthew Vaughn's Layer Cake. It still works well, and boasts some great performances, but the structure makes it a tad nonsensical at points, and it's hard to get caught up in some of the characters. It could've had more impact had the focus not shifted so much.
Still, while it lacks focus at points, the execution and performances are fantastic. It's a gift getting a young, inexperienced cast to embody their characters so organically and one Drew obviously possesses. Drawing from his own personal experiences helps create an overall disturbing sense of authenticity. Drew knows these areas and you get the impression he knows some of these people.
Already a fine actor and entertainer, Drew can now count himself a director to watch. His potential here is plain for all to see. Someone give him a bigger budget to play with.
Review by Mike Sheridan | 15:55 | Friday 8th June 2012 | Movie Review
Hurray, I finally agree with Mike. This is a gem relatively speaking. It's highlights graphically, the undercurrent of violence, prostitution and drug dealing in a modern UK city. It could be any City for that matter but the point being highlighted is what actually happens behind the scenes so to speak, what most of us don't see. It's violent, graphic and tough viewing at times but is necessary to make it's point. Some fine performances by virtual unknowns and more credible again considering a budget allocation of just £100k. Impressive direction and do observe the part dialogue/story telling through rap lyrics. An under the radar cult classic.Posted 01:31 | Fri 8th Jun 2012
It really is a well made film but god it's depressing. Was tempted to head into Beauty and the Beast 3D to recover.Posted 20:27 | Sat 9th Jun 2012
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