Director: Jon S. Baird
Starring: James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent
Filth. The British crime drama/black comedy was written and directed by Jon S. Baird, based upon the novel of the same name which was written by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting).
Filth follows the alcoholic, drug-addicted, depressed, bipolar and conniving cop Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) as he hallucinates his way through the festive season and attempts to score a promotion whilst winning back his wife and daughter at the same time. It is ballsy, it is dark, it is bonkers and it is undeniably filthy.
James McAvoy is to be commended here, fearlessly inhabiting the role of Robertson and dropping all his nice-guy credibility in the process to play this manipulative, bondage-loving anti-hero. His is charming and humorous and horrifically enjoyable all while maintaining the damaged and complex nature of his character.
The only problem with this film is the direction. Jon S. Baird seems to be so deliberately attempting to copy the stylings of Danny Boyle’s ‘Trainspotting’ that it is almost awkward, or embarrassing, to watch.
Filth is dark, subversive, confronting and chaotic and seems to have been a project brimming with fun for the cast and crew, but because of its dark subject matter not many audiences will revel in the filth that the title so aptly warns. There is a discrepancy in the tone as the Robertson falls further and further into his psychosis, no film it without its flaws. The film can be gruelling but there are scenes and moments that can linger with you for days to follow.
James McAvoy is the true gem here, giving one of his best performances as Robertson and in doing so, is able to hold the film together.
For the most part, Filth is quite an enjoyable, humorous and entertaining portrait of self-destruction.