This movie is so SO SO intense – that is my overall reaction to “Filth”. A plot that twists and builds, with scattered clues and raunchy images, “Filth” revolves around the life of Bruce Robertson, a detective who is willing to backstab and step on everybody’s feet to get his hand on a promotion. The protagonist here is presented as a true scumbag whose life is a ragged parchment of deception, violence, drugs and sex. He is a masterful manipulator, playing people like puppets, putting filthy words in their mouths to falsely frame them.
Nevertheless, Bruce is rather 3-dimensional as a character: in midst of his rough and rugged acts, the man intermittently falls prey to flashbacks (most of them are left unexplained until later when the protagonist’s background unfolds); these surges of memories serve to reveal his emotional side. The flashbacks act like a guiding subplot, giving the audience – bit by bit – an explanation as to why and how Bruce has become the a crude man he is. I always believe in the goodness of people, and to understand a person, one needs to know the things that trigger his or her annoyance. It’s hard to be nice when one is unhappy, even harder when one is suppressed. In the case of Bruce, the voices and images in his head are the consequences of his wrong deeds in the past, and they slowly take over his mind and body. Bruce gradually becomes less and less sane as the frequency of his hallucination increases.
That’s all you need to know as far as the plot goes. This movie is full of shocking surprises from beginning to end, and I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for you. I guess if you can stand a bit of nudity (wait, sorry, did I say ‘a bit’? I mean a lot) and foul language, then “Filth” is definitely worth your time. Personally I could easily condone the sensitive materials because they, in many ways – I feel, portray the rude reality of social corruption. Plus, they’re swearing in Scottish – that must be quite exciting, aye? The whole movie is in Scottish, by the way, for those of you who are interested in learning the accent.
All in all, “Filth” is probably a movie with the most plot twists I’ve seen in a long time, if not ever. It remains exciting from beginning to end. Although parts of “Filth” can be a bit blunt, I’d rather watch a blunt movie than a bland one, honestly. The style of “Filth” is akin to that of “Dom Hemmingway”, where the main character is a bit of a tragic hero. In the end, all he needs is Love to show him the right way. Movies like these aren’t the most realistic, but it does keep one hopeful.
I’d give this an 8/10. Minus points for the raunchiness, as that does limit the scope of potential audience.