Film Review: Filth


Based on the 1998 novel by Irvine Welsh, and written and directed by Jon S. Baird, Filth follows a bipolar, bigoted, drug addicted, alcoholic, racist, sexist and corrupt cop, Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), who, willing to stop at nothing to get what he wants, manipulates and hallucinates his way through the festive season in a bid to secure promotion and win back his wife and daughter. Enlisted to solve a brutal murder and threatened by the aspirations of his colleagues, Bruce sets about ensuring their ruin. As he turns his colleagues against one another by stealing their wives and exposing their secrets, Bruce starts to lose himself in a web of deceit that he can no longer control. Can he keep his grip on reality long enough to disentangle himself from the filth?

James McAvoy gives an excellent performance in the lead, making you both despise and sympathise with his character, even if he is pure filth. With McAvoy giving such a strong lead, churning out every emotion with his best efforts, this film will certainly have an impact on you. The story and his character development really does mess with your head, but by the end George Costanza will undoubtedly become a character that you will love, making the ending even more dramatic.

There’s a great supporting cast, too, with Eddie Marsan, especially, giving another brilliant performance. But the film boasts many other excellent qualities too, even if these performances are what stand out. The fast pace makes everything constantly entertaining, holding your attention from start to end, engrossing you in everything from the mind trip of a story, the dark and manipulating interactions, and the intrigue of where it will go next. This really is a film worth watching this year.

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