|Director||Jon S Baird|
|Starring||James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Joanne Froggatt, Jim Broadbent|
|Release||4 OCT (UK) Certificate 18|
As Robertson wildly navigates a murder enquiry by spending more time stepping over his colleagues in order to win promotion than actually investigating the crime, he fucks over almost everyone he meets: Eddie Marsan's likable doormat Clifford Blades, ostensibly Robertson's best and only friend; Jamie Bell's cocky but inadequate rookie Ray Lennox; even Kate Dickie's Chrissy, the wife of another colleague with whom Bruce enjoys regular S&M sessions. Only Joanne Froggatt's Mary brings out the nice guy - and there is a nice guy, but he's buried beneath layers of arseholery so deep that we're encouraged to wonder how things ever got so bad.
Which is where Filth loses its edge somewhat; scenes in which a nightmarish psychiatrist (Jim Broadbent) gradually reveals what's at the centre of Robertson's rotting soul feel a little pat, as if they've been added at the last minute in order to clear up any ambiguity. But it's a minor niggle in a film that's otherwise perfectly judged: writer/director Jon S. Baird never lets the insanity get too exhausting, and when sentimentality threatens to creep in you know you're not too far away from someone yelling something like "GET YER FACE OFF MA COCK!"
As the murder investigation, the promotion race and Bruce's severe mental issues culminate in typically berserk fashion, seasoned audiences may be unsurprised by the final act revelations. But that's a small price to pay for a journey so utterly bonkers, degraded and, well, filthy that it includes Frank Sidebottom, Shakin' Stevens and a gallery of photocopied cocks as a matter of course. Wrong on almost every level but so, so right, Filth is simultaneously hilarious, appalling and tragic, and James McAvoy both its greatest asset and its biggest cunt.