On Monday night my lovely and wonderful friend Teresa invited me along to the premier of the new James McAvoy flick, Filth. We had the pleasure of walking the blue carpet (yep, no red carpet here!) and sitting only a few inches away from the stars of the film, including its director, Jon S. Baird. It was such a great night and a pretty surreal experience. I mean how often do you get to sit in the same room as James McAvoy, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell and Irvine Walsh? I mean wow.
|Teresa managed to get a photo of James McAvoy. We were so close she had to lean back to be the photo!|
Now the film.
Unsurprisingly now Scotland's current number one film, this comedic yet gritty crime drama, based on the novel by Irvine Walsh, is set in Edinburgh with McAvoy fronting the show as corrupt cop Bruce Robertson.
Sex, drugs, violence and the disturbing reality of alcoholism and addiction are the obvious themes of a story concocted by Walsh. I mean, who could forget Trainspotting? Filth stays in line with these themes, it's in the word- a massive hint for what's to come.
The film opens with the brutal murder of a Chinese student- cue the entrance of
Sergeant Robertson and his colleagues. But the record is soon set straight as the film becomes much more than just a mystery murder case. Robertson is out for the demise of his colleagues as the film follows him on his ventures of (rather creative) plotting and scheming in his bid to attain that all important promotion.
Robertson is cunning and conniving but, like any successful villain, his charm is flawless as Mcavoy delivers a charismatic character who knows how to get what he wants. But that is no compliment, for Robertson is the ultimate anti-hero; sexist, racist, violent and psychotic which manifest as we find out more about our detective sergeant. He is a part of "The Pigs" which becomes emblematic of his amorality. But Robertson is all too aware of this as he is haunted by the face of an ugly, squealing pig upon looking in the mirror. Bruce Robertson is Filth.
As the film goes in we witness his mental and physical deterioration as his cases are left unsolved and his drug abuse festers. This film is ultimately about his downfall which McAvoy has portrayed on such an astute level.
On a whole I would say that Baird's visualisation of Walsh's novel is brilliantly entertaining and creative. Admittedly some scenes had me feeling somewhat uneasy as it transcends in to the mind of Bruce. We hallucinate with him and follow his every evil move, experiencing his highs and his lows that come with his drug abuse and the grief after losing his wife and daughter. Multiple hints are dropped throughout the film that Bruce's problems stem from his childhood after the death of his brother but nothing is wholly explicit. The film is almost a tragicomedy with scenes that'll have you laughing out loud at Robertson's ingenuousness but may have you turning away your head as the film reaches its bitter close. McAvoy has done well.
If you're going to watch this film, be prepared.