Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
This movie definitely lived up to its title..
Bruce Robertson is a detective sergeant, based in the hills of Lothian, Edinburgh. You’d think such a man with a job like this to do would be a respectable, hard-working member of his community – unfortunately, Bruce is the exact opposite. He indulges in sordid cocaine, sex and alcohol abuse amongst his many talents, and revels in playing vile pranks on his work colleagues. This is the story of one man’s life – and its bloody sick…
..much worse. The movie follows Bruce as his mental health deteriorates, but instead of addressing the issue delicately, the director throws everything vulgar he can at the audience; Bruce fucking a local lady as a man in a pig mask appears from nowhere, dead children standing over him, sexual asphyxiation, and Bruce stumbling through the streets dressed as a woman are just a few of the treats in store for potential viewers. What makes a director stand there and announce, “OK guys – I want a pig-man popping up out of nowhere whilst Bruce is penetrating a woman whose small breasts flap wildly – oh, and while we’re at it, let’s get a dead kid in here. Cool. And cover its face with mud. Great” !? This movie is brought to us from the creator of early 90’s druggie flick Trainspotting – having not actually seen Trainspotting myself, I can honestly say I don’t think I want to after witnessing this piece of bile.
Misleading? Or is the trailer for Filth simply a flowery duvet covering a bed of grotesque shock? The poster for the movie shows a wacky ‘Bobby riding a pig (alternate posters show him riding a bottle of alcohol) – the trailer plays a funky Scissor Sisters song, as it shows Bruce giggling mischievously whilst letting out a trumpet-like fart.. but instead of getting a mischievous Policeman who clowns around whilst on the bottle, we get a suicidal one whose malevolence is crippling for anyone who gets in his way. But hey, never mind! I’m sure he could pass for ‘funny’ in a different life.
As the movie continues, Bruce attends therapy sessions (yet again, the random pig mask appears) with Dr. Rossi (played by Jim Broadbent) which doesn’t seem to help him through the festive season, but Bruce has a promotion to secure at work which sees his ambition take over. He also wants to win back his wife and daughter, which is another plan in his life which doesn’t seem take shape.
The casting was great. Firstly, James McAvoy couldn’t have been more suited to the role of Bruce – his voice & mannerisms never faltered and his quality of acting was superb. Every emotion possible was portrayed, I don’t think he could have performed any better. Imogen Poots brought some madness relief to the story, whilst Jamie Bell and Emun Elliott supported McAvoy’s talent throughout. Oh, and of course ‘that woman with the voice of a child’ Shirley Henderson as Bunty – was the first time I’ve seen her pass for sexy.
Years ago, at University (yes, I did go to University) I remember certain members of my class using the phrase “oh that is so GCSE” – basically their way of saying “this piece of work is to be enjoyed by people with a lower intelligence than myself” – pretentious bastards. But I couldn’t help wondering during Filth, what they would say nowadays about a movie like this.
If you’re a very theatrical or analytical person you will probably enjoy pulling it apart; this is one of those movies a University lecturer could sit their class in front of and be shot with bullets such as, “I honestly believe the juxtaposition of the policeman passing that dog on the street refers to how his career is passing him by”, “I think as Bruce exits a door, this is his subconscious telling him he passed his mother on his way out of her vagina”, “the portrayal of drug use in this movie underlines the juxtaposition of real world and fantasy, but is fantasy reality?” – and other ‘even I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about, I read it on some website – please give me a 2:1’ crap.
My point is, we’re so deep in Filth that it gives you the chance to analyse and question why certain things happen.
Man, I am so juxtaposing.
‘Chrissie from Eastenders‘ makes an appearance – for all of 4 seconds. One scene sees Bruce on an aircraft heading off on holiday, and as his conversation with his friend takes a vulgar turn, the woman sat behind him looks on in surprise.. Tracy-Ann. This very well-known, talented British actress was cast in Filth for the shortest screen time she’s ever had.. why!? I can only assume because she was involved in a British pilot sitcom named Filth, back in 2010. One of those brainwaves formed by the director with the hopes of gaining a ‘oh look, its Tracy-Ann Oberman. This is funny because she was in a TV show also called Filth!” reaction from adoring fans.
As most people are aware, ‘Filth’ is the slang name for the Police. But if the director’s intention wasn’t that his film reflects this word also, I’d be very surprised.
Overall, a vile and gritty piece of macabre cinema swimming in shame. I honestly wouldn’t sit through this again even if I was paid to do so. However, if you enjoyed Trainspotting and other films which play with your mentality, then you may just like it.