Sometimes going out to the theaters is hard work. If you’re anything like me, the fact that you have to put on pants is already a huge disappointment. You’ve reached the end of your queue and have already seen everything worth seeing on Netflix, so what can you do? That’s right, I have a solution that you don’t need pants for! Rent something on video on demand (VOD). There’s a recent trend where films are being released online before they even hit theaters, and it’s usually cheaper than the price of admission. Every week when movies come out on VOD, I’ll narrow down the best one for that week. This week’s pick is: Filth
Now this isn’t your average, run of the mill film. It is not meant for the faint of heart or prudish. Why? Well because it lives up to every ounce of its name. It oozes carnal urges, drug fueled debauchery and some pretty daring depravity that either leave your speechless or in an uproarious fit of laughter. Based on the novel written by the same author that brought us Trainspotting, this film is just shocking, but in a much more humorous tone.
You may recognize James McAvoy from his most recent blockbuster X-Men: Days of Future Past, where he played a young Charles Xavier. He is almost unrecognizable as he plays detective Bruce in Filth, and the only thing he really shares with his X-Men character is a drug and drinking problem that is way more exacerbated in this film. Bruce’s sole ambition at the moment is to get the promotion that would (in his mind) change his entire life. All he has to do is get rid of the competition, which shouldn’t be too hard when he’s anthropomorphized them each into the animal he things they embody. His only real competition for the position are fellow detectives Drummond (Imogen Poots), Bladesey (Eddie Marsan), Lennox (Jamie Bell). and in that order. In the beginning, we watch as a guy on his way home is beaten to death by a group of local misfits. They are chased away by a blonde in a short skirt and heels. If Bruce can solve this case, the job is all but his. He just needs to find this mysterious, eye-witness blonde that bears a mysterious resemblance to his wife. While he is busy actively sabotaging everyone else’s personal and professional lives, there is a dark mystery about his own and his true motivations, but you won’t find out until the very end of the film.
Filth is a study into the deep, dark descent into degeneracy brought on by the abuse of multiple different substances at the same time. You see him trying to fight his feelings of depression and despair by basically destroying the lives of everyone around him, even his so called “friends”. As a main character, Bruce isn’t suppose to inspire sympathy, and that is perfectly fine. He’s an unapologetic asshole, and we see very little (if any) proof to the contrary. That’s not the point, but rather we go on this trip into his psyche as it buckles under the strain of the truth. Also he does some completely inappropriate things that we can’t help but laugh at (even though we may feel bad after).
Filth‘s story is so all over the place that you need a straitjacket to restrain it and keep it from bouncing off the walls of the padded cell in a cocaine fueled frenzy. James McAvoy is that straitjacket, successfully channeling all the manic, chaotic energy into one of his best (and probably most fun) role he’s had to date. There are even a couple surrealist sequences that add to the over all accumulating amounts of crazy, but that are far too enjoyable and over the top for you to really care to call into question the films consistency. Just be ready to roll up your sleeves and be ready to get filthy dirty and you dive head first into this mental mindfuck of a film. You’ll need a shower (or two) to get all the grime and garbage off yourself, but you won’t regret a single moment of it.
RATING: ★★★★★★★(7/10 stars)