Tyson (Ashley Chin), Mannie (Jason Maza) and Jason (Michael Maris) grew up together in a tough inner-city world in London's East End, where no one could be trusted and everyone was out for themselves. With opportunities limited, it is crime that pays the bills and violence on the streets is how someone makes their mark. They make a living out of armed robberies with the help of eye candy Davina (Anna Nightingale) to seduce and lure drunken, unsuspecting rich City men in clubs, go back with them to their expensive flats, then Tyson and his crew move in, beat them up and steal everything.
When naive, middle class, country-girl from the Home counties Tia (Ashley Madekwe) comes to stay in the London council flat of her cousin Davina, a close friend of Tyson, little does she realizes that Davina and her friends have a lucrative side-line honey-trap scam and that her naivety will disturb the delicate balance of Davina and her group of friends.
Tia arrives at their block of council flats whilst they celebrate their recent heist in a rundown council tower block. Tia notices Tyson sits apart from the main group. Tyson's reasons for involving himself in their crimes are different from his friends'. For Tyson it is not about living the lifestyle but about supporting his 15-year-old sister, Nyla (Letitia Wright), through school and paying off the gambling debts his alcoholic mum landed them in when she abandoned them. Although Tyson is desperate to break out of the cycle of violence and gangland criminal lifestyle, which has already claimed the lives of some of his friends and acquaintances. He equally wants to provide for Nyla and help her make something of herself, but smart as she is, she has started running with the wrong crowd who seem hell bent on teaching immigrant Victor (Jordy Meya) a lesson. Tyson realises that he is not exactly the best role model.
When Tyson meets Tia, she helps him see that there are other ways to escape the cycle of poverty, a way out of his violent, criminal life, a way to stop being a victim of his circumstances and live his life as an example to his sister. He realises that the way of life he has is only going to end in prison or an early grave, and decides to change his ways. With more in common than expected, Tia and Tyson become drawn to one another.
However Davina disapproves of Tia's positive influence on Tyson and is jealous of their blossoming romance, and begins to plan a terrible revenge designed to also win him back from her.
Meanwhile, before Tyson can turn a corner and leave the street life behind, his mother breaks into his home and robs him of everything he has. He decides to take part in one final job to secure his future, which promises a big payoff, Tyson prepares to take his biggest gamble yet and has to fight not to be drawn back into the cycle of violence. Caught up in an escalating chain of violent events, will he have to make the ultimate sacrifice?Ashley Chin as Tyson
Ashley Madekwe as Tia
Jason Maza as Mannie
Anna Nightingale as Davina
Michael Maris as Jason
Letitia Wright as Nyla
Shanika Warren-Markland as Charmaine
Natasha Sparkes as Yaren
David Harewood as Mr. Ansah
Arnold Oceng as Jayden
Jordy Meya as Victor
Frank Harper as Colin
Richie Campbell as Joseph
Adam Deacon as Zhartash
The film was shot in and around East London within three weeks between July and August 2010.
The film was produced by John Adams, Danny Donnelly and Jason Maza for Pure Film Productions, and distributed by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.
Victim premiered at Apollo Cinema in Piccadilly Circus, London as part of the Raindance Film Festival on 2 October 2011.
The film was signed by Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment for local distribution and international sales on 3 January 2012. Kaleidoscope's sales arm, Kaleidoscope Film Distribution, sold the film internationally at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2012. Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment sold the film to Well Go USA for North America and Three Lines for Benelux on 20 April 2012.
The film had its official premier at Apollo Cinema in Haymarket, London on 22 June 2012, and was released in 86 UK cinemas. The DVD and Blu-ray of the film was released on 1 October 2012.
Becky Reed of This Is Fake DIY rated Victim 8/10 and said, it is "hugely admirable in its message, and the manner of delivery - a thought-provoking, gripping thriller." Ifu Ifeacho of SB.TV felt the film "delivers an honest and realistic view of life on road. Without preaching and without glamourising, Victim makes you wonder about the consequences of the choices made in this fast-paced thriller with plenty of action, but quite a few laughs too."
Anthony Quinn of The Independent thought the film started "quite promisingly before succumbing to earnest sloganeering on victimhood and the cliché of a crim's one last job before going straight. By the end, it crams its message into a student essay that's recited in class and greeted, bewilderingly, with applause." Mark Kermode reviewed the film in The Guardian as "the set-ups are familiar, the characters well worn and the film-makers' message (we are all victims) writ cornily large. But co-writer Chin is an imposing screen presence of whom we may expect more in future." David Calhoun of Time Out thought the film was "solidly made, but once you get past the attempts at realism – the banter, the backstories, the music, the clothes – it's a desperately corny yarn."
George Bass of Total Film rated the film 2/5 and described it as a "Heat-style smash-and-grabs (but with binmen) seem even smaller on the small screen, while the sight of young RADA graduates trying to talk tower block doesn't do wonders for its cred. But the ending raises its game..." Paul Bradshaw of Total Film rating it 3/5 said, "Anuva barrel of 'hood clichés it might be, but the sharp cast and snappy script (by Chin and co-star Michael Maris) make it fresher and funnier than it sounds."
RWD thought the film was "packed with powerful performances from the UK's next wave of film stars." Choice FM called the film "entertaining." Flava hailed the film "groundbreaking... brilliant."
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has collected 8 reviews, three positive and five negative, resulting in a 38% approval rating.