Filth

Short summary: sex and drugs and rock and roll do not make for a happy life for Detective Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy).

Longer review: this is based on the Irvine Welsh book, and includes some of what you would expect by way of excess. Robertson, in a competition for promotion, plans his campaign, hoping to set his colleagues against one another. Unfortunately, not only is his personal life a mess, but his lifestyle is self destructive, and there’s a murder he should be doing more to solve.

At the core of the film is Roberston’s character and its dark secrets. There’s an element of sympathy for the character, but I doubt if the audience would allow that sympathy to excuse his actions. Suffice it to say, you would not want this man as a friend.

The film rattles along, and there are no dull moments. Indeed, some comedy pops up in the darkness. But ultimately, the film delivers a punch that makes it more than the sum of its parts. In other words, there is a decent film here. But also a desperate sadness and cruel and accurate observation about the human condition. Not so much entertainment, as an experience.

 

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