Filth 2013

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(130)
Available in HD

Scheming Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), a bigoted and corrupt policeman, is in line for a promotion and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Enlisted to solve a brutal murder and threatened by the aspirations of his colleagues, including Ray Lennox (Jamie Bell), Bruce sets about ensuring their ruin.

Runtime:
1 hour 37 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

Filth

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Jon S. Baird
Studio Lionsgate
BBFC rating Suitable for 18 years and over
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth on 8 Oct 2013
Format: DVD
Described by critics as likely to leave its audience feeling soiled inside and out, this latest adaptation of an Irvine Welsh novel depicts a Scotland so seamy and sordid that the country's tourist board will be having many a collective sleepless night. Opening with the brutal kicking to death of an innocent Japanese student, the film quickly introduces its anti--hero, the thoroughly amoral and mind-bogglingly lecherous DS Bruce Robertson, in the form of an outstanding James McAvoy, oozing malice and corruption from every conceivable pore.

Alongside colleague and friend Ray Lennox - a wolfish Jamie Bell (if it's possible for such a monster to have a friend), Robertson snorts vasts quantities of cocaine, masturbates furiously in an agony of self-loathing (the latter symbolised by his seeing himself as a grunting, malicious sentient pig in regular hallucinations), physically and verbally abuses suspects, and at one point forces a fifteen year old schoolgirl to give him a blow-job. The despair and nihilism projected by this character is contextualised by his only other real `friend', the neurotic and bashful Clifford Blades, ably played by the naturally hangdog Eddie Marsan, who Bruce persistently and systematically tries to bring down to his level. As Bruce's superior, John Sessions provides quality support, as does Jim Broadbent as an increasingly deranged psychiatrist and the manifestation of the tapeworm that is steadily growing in Bruce's guts and which is contributing in no small part to his toxic personality.

I approached the film with some trepidation after reading of its stomach-churning tone and reprehensible characters, however it wasn't nearly as horrifying as I expected (or maybe I've been desensitised?!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alex on 10 May 2014
Format: DVD
This film leaves you guessing the whole way though never really getting a full grasp on McAvoy's character. Brilliant. A must buy, independent films are taking over and finally getting the credit they deserve.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By DeclanCochran on 6 Oct 2013
Format: DVD
This film, whilst having occasional moments that are genuinely witty and funny, is not a comedy. This is a crucial distinction to make, as the trailers and posters are billing it as such. It is actually a very sad, honest and truthful film about a man, with a mental condition, having a complete breakdown.

The film begins with the unkempt and repellent Scottish Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) informing us in one of the film's many fourth-wall-breaking episodes that he wants the new staff promotion that's in the running, and he is going to play each contender off each other so that he ends up with the title Inspector. So far, so In-Bruges-lite black comedy, with a very antiheroic antihero. But it's not long before Bruce has descended into a dark, Scottish vision of hell involving underage sex, copious drug use, tapeworms, Jim Broadbent with a huge head, and dirty phone-calls with the woman who played Moaning Myrtle, and the comedy is there no more.

And so the film goes on, and on, and by the end I found myself crying. At some point, the film became something tragic, and I found myself touched and saddened; this kind of thing happens every day, with people, and it isn't very funny at all. Bruce is trapped in a vicious cycle of behaviour that isn't really his fault, but is entirely his own making. He is horrible, abusive and violent to people, but all of a sudden something happens and he's in tears. He's standing on his best mate's glasses and trashing an art museum, but then, suddenly he's trying to save the life of a man in the street. You might argue that this is the film tonally pulling itself apart, but these patterns and behaviours are true to life.

In the end, the film does a very tricky thing.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Lister on 11 Oct 2013
Format: DVD
This is another film adaptation of an Irvine Welsh novel that was referred to as "unfilmable", although when reading the book when it first came out I for one was struck by the tightness of the narrative and the cinema-friendly focus on a single protagonist.

The antihero in question is Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), a dodgy copper trying to make the most of a promotion opportunity by ruining his rivals through a series of cruel intricate schemes. Meanwhile, his mind is deteriorating, and he's haunted by flashbacks, waking dreams, and humanoid livestock. The film is fairly faithful to the source, and the changes (including some understandably blunted edges) are down to the different artform.

Irvine Welsh has said that McAvoy's performance is better than De Niro's in Taxi Driver. I don't think this is a suitable comparison. Scorsese's seminal feature was about a post-traumatic depression, whereas Jon S. Baird's film is more manic. For me, the film Filth most resembles is A Clockwork Orange. Like Kubrick's masterpiece, the entire aesthetic is informed by the subjectivity of the central character. And there are subtler nods: the use of classical music, the bleached windows, Jim Broadbent's reinvention of the Deltoid character (a probation officer then, a psychiatrist now), and the visual reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Before the film's release, I wasn't convinced by the casting of McAvoy, but after watching it I can safely say he's transformative - to capture such bipolar savagery and the fear in a single facial expression is the sign of a special performance. The supporting cast provides a colourful blend of caricatures. Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan and Imogen Poots all make an impact in the few moments when McAvoy isn't dominating the screen.
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