James McAvoy has been famous for his appearances in the new X-Men series as Professor X and also from his latest film Split. His acting ability is beyond marvelous, especially when you take into account the various roles that he did in his filmography. Filth is a Scottish film that is released back in 2013 and features yet what seems to be an eccentric role for James to play with. Keep reading below for my thoughts on this quirky film!
(note: nudities are present in the film)
The basic premise is regarding a man Bruce Robertson, who is a scheming man that also suffers from some mental problems. On the surface, he acts friendly to his co-workers, but in reality, he tries to undermine them in order to get promoted. One day, a case about a murdered Japanese student creates an opportunity for him. However, his indulgence in sex and drugs, together with his ex-wife and daughter leaving him have caused his hallucinations to grow stronger. Will he ever be able to get his promotion before his illness consume himself?
Filth is a kind of a mix of comedy and some dark drama that is also added with some surrealism. The character Bruce will sometimes narrate a character’s introduction and also creates witty remarks along the way. His tagline of ‘Same Rules Apply’ is the way to describe himself, and the film emphasises this by having him repeating it multiple times. There are some genuinely comedic moments that are then smoothly filled with many sexual references. Nudities are shown only when its necessary as well, as the film director knows when to balance such scenes with its darker and comedic moments.
The whole film is a weird mess that seems to work. It presents itself as a unique film that leverages on James’s exceptional performance, creating a main character that is filled with so much personality and ego that makes you like yet hate him at the same time. With that said, the film can be a bit too sexual at times, at the expense of the story, as if it’s done purely for the sake of it. Fortunately, most of the scenes are great and the Scottish accent makes it feel authentic, especially when most of the actors are Scottish themselves. Filth is perhaps one of the more divisive films that will appeal to only certain audiences.