Filth, the latest movie to star James McAvoy, is an adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name and it has all the hallmarks of a classic Irvine Welsh movie adaptation, with its fast-paced, seedy cinematography and wry, snappy humour. The word filth takes on two meanings here. McAvoy plays the central character Bruce Robertson, who – by all accounts, is a pretty filthy kinda guy, he’s into some fairly unsavoury sexual practises and when his doctor asks if he’s been taking his medication, he’s only able to sort-of-honestly answer ‘yes’ because of all the illicit substances he’s been snorting. That’s not the only kind of ‘filth’ he is though – he’s also a police officer. A Detective Sergeant no less.
Robertson’s not one for abiding by the law, however and even when he’s on duty, he’s a pretty deceitful, dishonest kind of guy and will do anything to get one over on his colleagues, so that he can get a promotion. However, the combination of mind-altering drugs and the fact that he’s collapsing under a mountain of lies soon starts to take a toll on his sanity and wellbeing. Add to that the fact that he has a troubled marriage that he’s desperate to save and things aren’t looking great for him, all told.