My Thoughts on Filth
Earlier this week, the second NSFW trailer for John S. Baird’s upcoming Irvine Welsh adaptation Filth was released. If you haven’t already seen it, you should definitely check it out at this link.
Now, most people will assume I dislike James McAvoy because of his appearance in ‘that Danny Boyle film I don’t like’, but honestly, I’ve liked him ever since he made his way into the nation’s collective heart with his performance as criminal-with-a-heart Steve McBride in popular UK comedy drama Shameless. My only real complaint with his performance in Trance is that he seemed too damn friendly and innocent to be playing such a morally questionable character; I just never believed that somebody as loveable as James McAvoy could play anything approaching. All that, however, appears to be swiftly changing in Filth. Described in the trailer as a “pervert”, an “alcoholic” and a “psycho”, a now bearded McAvoy, playing police officer Bruce Robertson, spends the full length of the trailer having violent sex, drinking unhealthy amounts of alcohol and generally being unpleasant to everyone he passes.
It looks to be a terrific performance, and could very well change the course of his career. Rarely do we see characters as utterly despicable as Bruce in the cinemas, and when we do see them, even rarer do we see them as the antiheroes. The supporting cast is also fantastic, with some of the finest British screen talent in Eddie Marsan and Jamie Bell, as well as the legendary Jim Broadbent. The source novel, written by Irvine Welsh in 1998, also excites me, because, as many of you know, Irvine Welsh is the writer of Trainspotting, my favourite film of all time. He has a unique style that usually does away with traditional plots and focuses instead intently on the character, usually an intense, mostly unlovable character you grow to sympathise with by the end. Bruce seems like he’s going to be a mixture of Renton and Begbie, and the prospect of that character is something I can’t wait to see.
There’s every chance Filth could be a disappointment, with overblown swearing and gratuitous unpleasantness. I’m choosing, however, to hope that Filth is going to live up the expectations, and give us a classic performance in James McAvoy’s Bruce Robertson, as well as some razor sharp dialogue and one of the greatest antiheroes of the year.
By Harry Ford