FILM REVIEW: FILTH (18)

Director Danny Boyle transformed himself into a Hollywood A-Listerwith his take on Irvine Welsh’s cult book, Trainspotting.

Many film makers have tried to adapt Welsh’s books since, but have failed to produce the goods… until now. Director Jon S Baird has dived out from Boyle’s shadow with the brilliantly twisted comedy, Filth.


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James McAvoy plays Bruce Robertson, a psychotic drug addict and alcoholic, who just so happens to be an Edinburgh police officer. Bruce becomes obsessed by the thought of being promoted at work and sets out to crush the chances of anyone around him getting the job he wants. Can a womanising, coke snorting, manipulative man really make those around him look worse than him? Get to the Showcase Cinema to find out.


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As you can imagine from its title and 18 rating, Filth is explicit – definitely not for the easily offended. McAvoy’s character couldn’t be more different to his usual roles (such as Professor Xavier in X-Men: First Class) and Jamie Bell (also playing a police officer) fully distances himself from the character he’s best known as, Billy Elliot.


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With McAvoy usually staring as a stereotypical ‘nice guy’ I feared he may have played the role of a foul-mouthed bigot awkwardly. I couldn’t have been more wrong. He completely let go and seemed to enjoy the sordid immorality of it all.

What works best with Filth is that even though the main character is a terrible man, we feel (in an odd way) sympathetic towards him – credit to the writer, director and actor. We probably shouldn’t want things to work out for Bruce, but we do.

Overall, the flow of the film slows a little towards the end, plus the extreme use of sex and drugs may be too much for some viewers. But most people (including myself) should appreciate Filth as the ballsy and entertaining film that it is.

Mikey Clarke

Genre: Comedy, Drama & Art House

Cast: James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Shirley Henderson, Eddie Marsan, Martin Compston& Kate Dickie

Director: Jon S. Baird

See it if you liked: Trainspotting & Requiem for a Dream

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