Based on Irvine Welsh’s 1998 novel, Filth is about DS Bruce Robinson (James McAvoy) a sexist, racist, homophobic, alcoholic, bully, drug-taking, scheming, corrupt and bipolar policeman who is in line for a promotion and will fuck over everyone until he gets what he wants.
DS Robinson believes that getting this promotion to DI will win both his wife and daughter back and heading a murder case is the first step. Feeling threatened by his ambitious colleagues, he decides to have sexual relationships with his colleague’s wives and expose their secrets to turn everyone against each other.
Bruce slowly loses grip on reality and begins suffering from hallucinations and dream-like exchanges with his psychiatrist (Jim Broadbent) which slowly expose Bruce’s dark secrets whilst digging deeper into his drug use and his sanity, driving him to a breaking point.
This toast can only go to James McAvoy, as he appears in pretty much every scene, and the transformation from a slightly sick but likable person to a very ill man who you feel sorry (or nothing at all) for by the end.
McAvoy is tremendous and this role may be his most memorable, even through it is still a long way before he will be nominated for a BAFTA. It was also great to see Jim Broadbent in a role that was quite frankly disturbing with a creepy Australian accent. A special mention is needed for David Soul, who randomly appears to sing the 1970s hit ‘Silver Lady’ (ask your mom and dad) which is the oddest bit in the film, and that’s saying a lot.
In the novel there’s a talking tapeworm (no, seriously a talking tapeworm) and the film handles that part very well.
Finally; a quick mention for Eddie Marsan, who’s just excellent in everything at the moment. He plays his character really well and you feel sorry for him as he’s the only friend Bruce has.
The film is the blackest of all humour, even darker then In Bruges, and fully deserves its 18 certificate. I didn’t laugh out loud as much as I thought I would, but you will feel bad laughing at some of the bits.
By the end you will feel Filth and this will stay with you for a couple of hours. I do worry about how the film will be accepted around the world, as this is very British humour. Halfway into the film, it is basically like someone puts your head in the toilet and forces you to stay there.
A brilliantly twisted film with a fantastic performance by McAvoy, and you get a feeling this is an exaggerated reality where it still feels as if this can happen to anyone. The very dark humour breaks up the grimness.
In the spirit of Filth and all that is Scotland; in this drinking game if you think you’re man enough, you will have to use Whisky. (Otherwise you can still use beer)
So if you do get alcohol poisoning don’t blame me.
Take a Drink: Every time McAvoy doesn’t swear in a sentence
Take a Sip: Every time you hear ‘Fuck’
Take a Sip: Every time you see someone using cocaine
Take a Drink/Shot: Whenever you hear something sexist, racist or homophobic.
Take a Drink: Take a drink anytime you see sick.
Take Double Shots: If you’re the last person to recognise the two people in successful TV shows.