Thursday, 8 June 2017

Filth (3 Stars)

This is a Scottish film made in 2013 starring James McAvoy as Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, a policeman currently seeking promotion to detective inspector. There are no doubts that he will be promoted. Both he and and his superior officer are members of the same Freemason lodge in Edinburgh.

By all accounts Bruce is an unpleasant character. He relentlessly plays games with his fellow officers. He plays pranks on them, then persuades them that the pranks were played by other officers, turning them against one another, while he remains the friend of all. He also plays games with a fellow lodge member, Clifford Blades, who considers him to be his best friend. He makes anonymous sexual phone calls to Clifford's wife. When asked by his superior officer to investigate the matter, he fakes evidence that Clifford was making the calls himself.

Bruce has other problems in his life, maybe brought on by the stress of his deceptive life, maybe a result of the recreational drugs he uses. He sees and talks to people who aren't there. His friends and colleagues see him breaking down and want to help him, but he considers everyone his enemies.

As the film continues Bruce rapidly spirals downwards. My biggest problem with the film is that I couldn't sympathise with him as a character. I disliked him from the beginning, so I gloated as he deteriorated. It's an interesting experimental film, but even bad guys have to be likeable for a film to win over the audience.

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