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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sordid shenanigans in a squalid Scottish setting
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,...
Published 9 months ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok it is not as good as Trainspotting but it is an interesting effort with ...
Ok it is not as good as Trainspotting but it is an interesting effort with a tour de force performance from the lead. Recommended only if this sort of film appeals to you.
Published 17 days ago by Elif Kaya


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sordid shenanigans in a squalid Scottish setting, 8 Oct 2013
This review is from: Filth [DVD] [2013] (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?!) and the frequent anal-sex references and photocopying of genitalia provided a strong seam of comedy - albeit of the darkest hue. Ultimately though, it's a drama depicting one man's slide into mental illness and self-destruction, and despite some odd tonal shifts, it's well worth seeing as an original and challenging movie experience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Independent film shines through usual Hollywood rubbish, 10 May 2014
This review is from: Filth [DVD] [2013] (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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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grubby in a good way, 11 Oct 2013
This review is from: Filth [DVD] [2013] (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.

For me, the dud notes concern the tone of the film. Sometimes Baird's shifts between the schizoid black comedy of Robertson's outbursts and his introspective guilt about his past are so sudden and sentimental that their capacity to convince is lost in the (lack of) transition. Part of this is down to Clint Mansell's disappointingly soft score, whose tinkly piano and lifeless strings often feel incongruous, more awkward than deliberate.

But these minor issues don't detract from a powerful, funny, and finally moving depiction of mental disintegration. To say that it's the best Welsh adaptation since Trainspotting may not be saying much - so I'll say instead that it's a very good film in its own right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filth, 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Filth [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Plot
****

The main character and narrator in this film is Bruce Robertson, played by McAvoy. He is a Detective Sergeant in Edinburgh, and has hoped of a promotion to Detective Inspector, and will do anything to get it, even sabotaging his colleague's chances. It becomes more and more apparent through the film that Bruce is unhappy and trying to escape some demons, whether that is through drugs, alcohol or mind games. He also likes to play games with his friends, particularly the mild mannered Clifford and his wife Bunty, who Robertson repeatedly prank calls through the film. Using his power as a respected member of the police force, he convinces Bunty that the best way of getting rid of her prank caller is to give in to his demands, which leads to them having frequent phone sex.

As the film continues, it becomes apparent that not all is well with Robertson. He has manic mood swings, and his psychiatrist keeps appearing in dream sequences, in which we find out that Robertson is bi-polar and he is struggling to deal with the death of a younger sibling. His psychiatrist (Jim Broadbent) is a somewhat manic character, and his inflictions and mannerisms were really grated on me, which is probably the point - that the psychiatrist is someone that really does annoy Bruce, but at the same time, he does need his advice.

When Robertson is assigned the role of the lead investigator in the case of the murder of a Japanese student, his promotion seemed in the bag. Instead, this seems to trigger a downwards spiral in Robertson's mental health, he becomes more manic, his hallucinations continue, and he feels he can't disclose an important piece of information in the case - he was a witness but revealing this would mean revealing his private life to his colleagues. Instead he falls deeper and deeper and there is only one way out.

My thoughts
*************

While this is definitely one of the most fascinating films that I have ever watched, it is also one of the most confusing. This film asks a lot of questions, but answers few. I was particularly surprised when the action sped up towards the end of the film, and you feel you might start to get answers, only for the film to end abruptly.

There was a surprising amount of humour in this film. There were some genuine laugh out loud moments, as well as the usual let's pick fun at Scottish people that only the Scottish can quite pull off. There was also humour in the absurd, and I loved the seam of humour that ran through this film. My favourite funny part is where they photocopy themselves at the office Christmas party - you think they won't show everything, but they do, and I think it was the shock at seeing a row of photocopied male parts that made me laugh.

I thought the acting was superb. I have been a fan of James McAvoy, ever since seeing him in Shameless about ten years ago and he really shines in this film. He manages to inject warmth into a character who is, for all intents and purposes, unlikeable. I also thought that his acting, particularly in the manic phases of the film was so believable. It did look as though McAvoy was possessed by something he didn't quite understand. It was also nice to see Jim Broadbent excel in a less comedic role, and I found that his portrayal of Robertson's psychiatrist was fantastic. His voice took on a monotonous, grating, repetitive tone and his mannerisms also sped up more once Robertson fell deeper into his manic episode. It did confuse me slightly seeing Bridget Jones's dad and her friend Jude in this film, but it shows that both the actors excel at different roles.

There is always a danger that when producing a film that deals with mental illness is that it wouldn't be done sensitively. This isn't the case with Filth. Somehow the overriding emotion for me was sympathy for Robertson, and the film left me wanting to stand up and shout at the screen at the end of the film, which has never happened me before. I did really feel for Robertson and what he was going through, and though the film was confusing, it did help give the viewer an insight into the mind of Robertson.

This film has a 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and while I can't understand why this isn't higher, I know the film isn't for everyone - particularly those who are easily offended. I would definitely recommend anyone watch this film, as it is fantastic and has really stood out in my mind as one of the best films I have ever watched.

I have since watched it again, (after writing the above review) and I must admit that watching the film twice, some of the confusion that I first felt has faded. Knowing what happens meant that I was able to look out for things that I had maybe first missed, and I was able to get answers to some of my questions. I do feel that this is the sort of film that you maybe have to watched 2 or 3 times before you really understand what is going on. Thankfully, my first opinion of this film hasn't changed, I still think it was a fantastic film, and I actually feel that watching it the extra time had made me like the film more. It really played with my emotions, there were sad parts, funny parts and touching parts, it is a real rollercoaster of a film, and while I know it's not for everyone, I would definitely recommend watching it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filthy!, 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Filth [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
What begins as a humorous insight into police corruption in the Edinburgh police force, as well as the social climbing and backstabbing (known as the games) slowly descends into a frank look at the psychological breakdown of the protagonist. Containing a lot of sex, bad language and black humour, this might not be everyone's cup of tea. However, for those that are willing to take the story on its own merits this is an extremly entertaining drug-fuelled romp through the lives of the many flawed individuals that make up the cast of Filth. Special mention has to go to James McAvoy, a gripping performance of a man that despite being an awful person somehow you can't help but root for him, and later feel sorry for him as he descends into depression and paranoia.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Expect A Comedy, 6 Oct 2013
This review is from: Filth [DVD] [2013] (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. It begins by creating a loathsome creature of a man, and in the end we feel deeply sorry for him. This is a man who is messed up, and far beyond help. McAvoy does a heart-rending job of bringing him to life, and his performance deserves to be commended. Jon S. Baird keeps a heavy hand on things and makes the film his own, despite imbuing the film with obvious yet justified nods to Kubrick, Lynch, Cronenberg, Refn, et al, and his script gets the balance just right between gonzo weird-ness and not letting us forget that there is a very sad person at the centre of all this mayhem. The supporting cast do effective work also, with Imogen Poots, Broadbent, Jamie Bell and numerous others filling their roles nicely. But this is McAvoy's show. He has created Robertson from the ground up, and it is clear that he understands him; the desperation is almost palpable in some scenes near the end.

All in all, it's not an easy watch, and I doubt I'll watch it again soon in the near future. But this is one of the surprises of the year, and it is an important film that, somewhere lurking amongst the taboos and reprehensible behaviour, has a cracked, bleeding heart; but a heart all the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lived up to expectations, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: Filth [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Filth was the book that got me hooked on reading Irvine Welsh's books way back when.

I was slightly apprehensive that the film would not live up to the book but it definitely did!

I watched the trailers of the film and they did not do it justice. If you liked the book, you'd like the film - ignore the purile trailers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 21 April 2014
This review is from: Filth (Blu-ray)
This Movie is a work of Art the main Actors should be very happy with themselves, as they have made a modern masterpice.Some Movies can be a work of Art and this is one of them. Eddie Marson and James McAvoy performances were stunning, i think it's time to bury them now as they will never better this work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of film Filth, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: Filth (Amazon Instant Video)
I had read the book and thought I may be disappointed with the film. However the casting is brilliant and James Mcavoy is totally brilliant as always.
Loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie, 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Filth [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
Have read all the books bi Irvine Welsh so had to view one that had been made into a movie. Not disappointed
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Filth [Blu-ray + UV copy] [2013]
Filth [Blu-ray + UV copy] [2013] by Jon S. Baird (Blu-ray - 2014)
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