Film Review: Filth

Monday 21 October 2013 by

Filth, Film, Poster, ReviewFilth is finally here! (And yes, it really is a whopping seventeen years since Trainspotting smashed its way onto the screen and ramped up the stakes for British cinema offerings). Stemming from source material by Scottish author and cult favourite Irvine Welsh… You’re expecting an amoral and sociopathic anti-hero aren’t you? Well, you got it! Adaptor and Director Jon S. Baird, serves up a distorted, darkly hilarious whirl through a carnivalesque Edinburgh, Detective Bruce Robertson at the helm. Brace yourself for a filthy ride.

Stylish, and narratively speaking, very slick, it has some brilliantly sickening scenes and genuine snigger triggering moments. However, Filth is let down by the exaggeratedly dreamlike psychiatrist scenes (with an uncharacteristically disappointing Jim Broadbent) and the forced tapeworm references. These are a big sop to fans of the book I’m sure, but they don’t really work transferred to the screen, jarring an otherwise well paced and tightly scripted 90 minutes. The fast-paced and in parts almost frenetic editing becomes a visible reflection of the protagonist’s state of mind. The well utilised breaking of the fourth wall draws the viewer right into the sleaze and tortured psyche of Robertson, a brilliantly venal  James McAvoy. McAvoy turns in a career-best performance as the corrupt and conniving lead, ably supported by a crop of great Scottish actors (Sessions is terrifically funny, and Henderson really works in a typically scene-stealing minor role, Dickie, Macdonald and Compston are all strong). Some familiar Brit actors make an appearance too (Poots and Bell as younger colleagues and Marsan proving he is one of our most versatile actors of recent years).

Couple the credible acting all ’round  with confident input from Director/Screenwriter Jon S. Baird and sublime cinematography by Matthew Jensen and this becomes another thrust of greatness from the Brit film movement. Surreal and overblown it is nevertheless an unflinching portrayal of a man’s slide into mental illness and degradation.

Rating, Four, Review


Bruce Robertson: James McAvoy
Bob Toal: John Sessions
Amanda Drummond: Imogen Poots
Ray Lennox: Jamie Bell
Bladesy: Eddie Marsan
Bunty: Shirley Henderson
Chrissie: Kate Dickie
Carole Robertson: Shauna Macdonald
Gorman: Martin Compston
Dr. Rossi: Jim Broadbent

Director: Jon S. Baird
Screenplay: Jon S. Baird
Novel: Irvine Welsh
Cinematographer: Matthew Jensen
Editor: Mark Eckersley

1 Comment

  1. Really fun and gripping film and humor is weird in good kind of way.

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