Saturday, November 8, 2014

Film Review: Filth (2013)

Filth (Review)
United Kingdom/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...an uproarious comedy with cheeky writing, fantastic acting and superb direction."

Arrogant and irreverent detective Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) seizes the opportunity for a promotion when a murder case arises.

Filth is a fairly simple plot on the surface. The film follows Bruce as he strives for the promotion the only way he knows how – by playing “the games.” Essentially, Bruce schemes his way through his co-workers by manipulating them in the worst way possible. All while his own character deteriorates from his self-contained demons. This, of course, includes the occasional indulgence of drugs and alcohol, as well as some bizarre hallucinations. The plot gains some traction during the final act where it starts to come full circle. The ending, like most of the film, is very black yet humorous – I think they call it “black humor.”

Personally, and I'm not someone in the know for all of the technical terms so I may be wrong, this film felt more like a character-study. The investigation for the murder takes the backseat as the full focus is on Bruce Robertson. In fact, there isn't much investigation or crime going on, except for that of Bruce Robertson. And, I'm completely fine with this. It's very interesting to watch the character deteriorate over time, especially considering his character was rotten from the beginning. It takes you into some very unexpected territory, and I genuinely enjoyed it. The latter half of the film really becomes more of a psychological drama/comedy – and a very effective one, at that.

The humor is definitely not for everyone. It's very black, irreverent, and occasionally juvenile. In my case, I loved it. I laughed a lot. It's a genuinely humorous film, especially for those who love black comedies. Of course, some of it may be too dark, but it's funny. I felt a little guilty at times, but I couldn't help it – a guilty pleasure, I suppose. Some of the humor didn't land for me, but I thought most of it was funny. I think that's a great accomplishment. If you're looking for something black, raunchy and offensive, as well as bizarre and trippy, this is definitely for you. It took me a while to get comfortable with the dialect, though. That's more of a personal issue, but an issue, regardless. It was occasionally difficult to understand, in other words.

James McAvoy delivers a fantastic performance as the lead. This is one of my favorite McAvoy performances, so versatile and funny. The supporting cast was also very strong. The film is shot very well, too. The music stood out. The choice of music for the soundtrack was splendid. However, due to the strong use of music, some of the scenes in the film actually felt more like music videos than actual plot points – again, not a major issue, but worth noting. Director Jon S. Baird crafts a hilarious comedy with wonderful performances and superb pacing; the film felt like it was over before I knew it, likely due to the great pacing, great story, and amazing amount of entertainment value.

Overall, Filth is a filthy crime-comedy – and I absolutely loved it. It's very raunchy and even offensive, but unusually attractive, too. I couldn't keep my eyes of the screen. It's an uproarious comedy with cheeky writing, fantastic acting and superb direction. There are a few issue in the story and one technical issue – which will be very subjective – but not nearly enough to hurt the film significantly. If you're looking for pure entertainment, this is for you.

Score: 9/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood, graphic sex and nudity.

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