Wednesday, 20 November 2013


Its not often that a film goes on general release in Scotland before it does in the rest of the UK, at least not before Independence next September, but that’s what happened with Filth (2013) a British crime comedy-drama written and directed by Jon S Baird and based on Irvine Welsh’s third novel of the same name published in 1998. This is Baird’s second feature film after 2008’s Cass the true story of a former football hooligan who became a writer. I suppose that this new film is also about a thug but this time he is a member of the police force!

The nice policeman teaches the wee man some sign language. 
The problems associated with self loathing seems to appear in many of the movies I have watched recently and raises its psychiatric head once more in this every day story of a bigoted, corrupt and substance abusing alcoholic Edinburgh based Scottish Detective, a sort of over the top John Rebus who hates himself to such a degree that he makes nearly every body’s life a misery he comes into contact with.

Obviously part of the investigatiom!
This terrific piece of story telling is the bastard offspring of a three way cinematic shag between Clockwork Orange (1971), Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (1992) and Trainspotting (1996) and comprises some of the cream of British acting including Joanne Froggatt, Shirley Henderson, Kate Dickie, Eddie Marsan, Jim Broadbent, Martin Compston, Garry Lewis and John Sessions to name but a few. But even in this exhorted company James McAvoy stands out as the bipolar junkie, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson who when asked by his superior why he joined the police force he replied ‘polices oppression’did you want to stamp it out from the inside?’ ‘No’ replies Robertson ‘I wanted to be part of it’ which really sums up the character.  

Now there's a man who's not always in control?
It’s a movie that will no doubt divide audiences. As Peter Bradshaw remarked in his critique it amounts to Acid Rain on Leith, but thankfully there’s not a sign of a dance routine although we do get a song from David Soul!

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