Filth *****



Run Time: 97 mins                           Cert: 18


Synopsis: Based on Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name, “Filth” joins an Edinburgh policeman (James McAvoy) on a journey into crime, hedonism and corruption.


Set in Edinburgh, “Filth” tells the story of Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), an Edinburgh policeman who spends most of his time indulging in drugs, sex and stirring up trouble between those around him. At the beginning of the movie, he is focused on getting a promotion at work.


The story is well written and makes great use of comedy. While giving rise to hysterical laughter from the audience, “Filth” explores the dark world of mental illness and has the viewer questioning what is real. In particular, the relationship between Bruce and his wife seems odd and it’s unclear whether she is alive, dead or just doesn’t exist.


James McAvoy is excellent in his role as Bruce. The character’s dialogue and mannerisms are quirky and fun and the situations he gets into are both entertaining and memorable. Despite his appalling behaviour towards his friends and colleagues, the viewer can’t help feeling sorry for him as his life deteriorates.


A key element in the movie is Bruce’s relationships with his colleagues. Jamie Bell gives a great performance as young detective Ray. He and McAvoy work well together and the dynamic of their relationship changes as the balance of power shifts during the movie. Imogen Poots is convincing as disapproving colleague Amanda and Gary Lewis is enjoyable to watch as daft policeman Gus.


Other supporting cast members also perform to a high standard. Jim Broadbent is hilarious as Bruce’s psychiatrist while Eddie Marsan’s portrayal of his friend Clifford Blades attracts both ridicule and sympathy from the audience.


The film’s soundtrack is filled with classics from artists including Billy Ocean, David Soul and Tom Jones. This is both enjoyable and adds extra comedy to some of the scenes.


“Filth” has some excellent twists and keeps the audience guessing until the final minutes. For those who have not read Irvine Welsh’s novel, the revelations will be completely unexpected and make for a perfect ending to a great movie.


Reviewed by Lesley Logan

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