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FILTH – Review

October 2, 2013

Film + Entertainment | by Francesco Cerniglia


An up and coming director, a thrilling novel and James McAvoy – this film had all the potential to be outstanding. I was gearing myself up for a roller coaster ride full of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. But what I endured was no more stimulating than another episode of Big Brother (NB: If you’re a fan of that rubbish, by all means, hit the cinema!).

The beginning tricks you into having high expectations. There’s James McAvoy, narrating while walking down the road as he informs the audience about himself, apparently an awesome detective named Bruce Robertson who’s a total shoe-in for a promotion. You follow this dark anti-hero through a whirlwind of random instances and then all of a sudden you’re thinking… what just happened!?

Filth reminded me of Michael Fassbender in Shame, where you’re literally just watching a guy completely unable to get himself out of the gutter. There’ll be snippets of scenes where you might think he’ll come around, but of course the point is he never will. It might be a good thing to know that none of us immediately relate to the anti-hero, but there isn’t even enough in Bruce’s character to feel pity, despite his trying to win back his wife and daughter.

I hate to say this, but James McAvoy and Jamie Bell’s acting talents were completely misused in this film and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that Eddie Marsan over-shone these hot topics. Look out for their little trip to Germany!

The Pursuit

Moreover, there’s plenty of sex, drugs and violence – although apparently not enough to make it an entertaining flick. If eye candy is any help, don’t bother getting excited about Bruce’s terrible selection of ladies.

Bringing a dark story to light in a positive and uplifting way is more difficult that it seems. Don’t get me wrong, making this movie must have been plenty of fun, it’s just a shame it wasn’t as fun to watch. There were some comedic moments, but it all fell short of arriving at something along the same quality of American Psycho.

And after you witness this agonizing display of complete shamelessness, you just feel dirty and walk out feeling immensely disappointed. My advice to you: save 97 minutes of your life and avoid this film. Unless you’re in the mood for self-loathing, general disgust of the human race and need a bit of a push to get yourself off.

Filth is released in UK cinemas this Friday, October 4th.

Amanda Chen