Filth

Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) is a misogynistic, alcoholic cokehead with a penchant for kinky sex and sick mind games. He’s also a police officer. Usually tormenting his friends and coworkers, he now focuses his energy on the chance at a promotion on the force, with only an unsolved murder standing in his way. Naturally, chaos ensues when the twisted web he weaves inevitably collapses on him, forcing Bruce to finally come to terms with himself.

Sort of.

Thank you.

Thank you.

This was probably one of the best McAvoy performances I’ve seen – he’s just this raw psychotic force, and you just love to hate this character. And then when those tender moments hit, they hit hard, but not in a way unbelievable for the character.

However regardless of the strong character study, Filth seems to be suffering from an identity crisis – most noticeably, throughout the film there are numerous references to A Clockwork Orange (with an explicit 2001: A Space Odyssey reference thrown in for good measure). What perplexes me about this choice is that though I appreciate a good reference, I really don’t understand why they chose to use them so continuously.

"Awake at last, yes?"

“Awake at last, yes?”

It’s neat for trivia and I suppose it helps frame Robertson’s mental frailty, but on the whole it feels like reference for the sake of reference – Alex DeLarge and Bruce Robertson are very different people, and both stories have very different commentaries (and it’s not like the film/book are on Robertson’s mind or in the background).

I mean, I guess some points could be argued, but I better stop myself from diving further into an infinite Kubrick loop. I bring this up because I feel by using these references so overtly, it draws away from the real originality (as if it already wasn’t fighting away from being another Trainspotting).

Overall, I felt that Filth was a raunchy good time, despite the identity crisis. Sure it gets really dark fairly quickly, but that’s what I expected, and wanted. After seeing this movie, I actually want to read the book. So I say come for the McAvoy and stay for the ride.

Final Grade: A-

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About reelgirl

Film lover, kitsch enthusiast, and all around neat gal. You can read what I'm up to at Reel Girl Reviews!

Posted on June 29, 2014, in Review and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. (Please be advised that the following comment bears little if any relevance to the movie review above)
    So, you have been spending some time at the movies! You’ve been so quiet I thought you’d moved to the beach to work on your tan.
    Rev has started here. Another great collection of features, docs and shorts. I’ll be reviewing Cold in July and Charlie Victor Romeo in the next couple of days. Have you seen either of them?

    • Admittedly I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus, between catching up on Orange is the New Black and playing video games. And there’s me getting lazy and trying to get my spark back – all in good time I suppose.

      I haven’t seen either of those, but I look forward to reading about them!

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