Director: Jon S. Baird
Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots.
The angelical James McAvoy has put aside his nice-boy image to dive into the skin of an utterly antiheroic character: the corrupt, drug-addicted, bipolar cop Bruce Robertson.
‘Filth’ embodies the entire nature of the scheming policeman, who is in line for a promotion and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Bruce is enlisted to solve a brutal murder and, threatened by the aspirations of his colleagues, sets on a personal mission to ensure their ruin, right under the nose of unwitting Chief Inspector Toal. As he turns his colleagues against one another, by stealing their wives and exposing their secrets, Bruce starts to lose himself in a web of deceit that he can no longer control. His past is slowly catching up with him: a missing wife, a crippling drug habit and suspicious colleagues start to take their toll on his sanity. The question is: can he keep his grip on reality long enough to disentangle himself from the filth?
Jon S. Baird’s darkly comic adaptation of the cult novel by Scottish author Irvine Welsh proves to be daunting and intimidating, especially for McAvoy’s terrific performance. The rest of the talented British cast (Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots), barely shines of reflected light, as the filthy protagonist takes over the scene, since McAvoy manages to fearlessly embody the utmost despicable character with a pinch of empathy.
‘Filth’ inevitably will be compared to Danny Boyle’s ‘Trainspotting’ and despite its effective excruciating style, Baird doesn’t surpass his predecessor, who made a cinematic milestone setting an unbeatable benchmark.
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi