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Review Filth (2013)

 genre: drama, crime, comedy

Never had a title been this striking or correct. You will witness several despicable and repulsive events that at one point even become depressive. The first half hour is strong and relatively funny and then it wallows in self loathing and pity. Namely that of main character Bruce Robertson portrayed by James McAvoy. And it has to be said, he does a swell job. Only after ten minutes or so you completely hate the guy. And once you do no matter what he does you don't feel any sympathy at all for his character. We are led to believe that somewhere deep inside a man is hidden that is deserving of love and happiness or at least better understanding. But sadly to me it had quite the opposite effect. If this tragic figure was trying and trying and despite his hard efforts was failing then naturally it would have made him more likable. However Bruce does not make any effort whatsoever. He is just wasting his life away without any intention of doing good. The one time he does it, it is more done out of selfish reasons than to just help out or do his job. I don't mind characters being villainous or dark as long there is a balance to them. To just show one side of someone's personality makes everything a tedious affair. If someone is truly not capable of having a lighter or sincere side to him then it would have helped to illustrate this through other characters and how they respond to him. This rarely is done and if done most join in the fun and thus makes it difficult to distinct the good from the bad. My biggest problem with Filth is that it is not really funny. Trainspotting was dark and had questionable characters but at least they were more human and had the right balance between hilarious moments and the tragic ones. Here all is tragic making it an acquired taste to enjoy or be entertained by it. After the first half hour it becomes a chore to watch this one and at the end you are not rewarded to sit through this at times torturous affair. Am I exaggerating. Maybe a little. But that is because I was expecting to be laughing my ass off or at least given some lighter moments before being overwhelmed by darkness. It's an understatement that I was disappointed at the end. I felt tricked and deceived. And not in a good way. This is saying something as a huge fan of giallo's  that are specialized in using any means possible to deceive the viewer. Deep down you can sense the influence of Irvine Welsh (creator Trainspotting) but only barely and it's a bloody shame there wasn't more of him in here. This is the second movie I have seen in a short time wanting to shock just for the sake of shocking without actually having real effect. The first one was The Wolf of Wall Street. At least that one made me giggle a few times. I sincerely hope that this is not some trend of some sorts. Watch at your own risk!     

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