Never write off a writer, cheat a copper, shag a bored housewife or lie to your superiors, especially when your psychiatrist is as crazy as you are.
Directed by Jon S Baird, Filth is a particularly dirty adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s latest exploration of the anus of Edinburgh, a trawl through most all of the predilections that plague the average man and woman. Somewhere between The Office on ketamine and Taggart on codeine, Filth delivers what it promises – unfortunately via a series of clichés that have already been rolled into the gutters of cinema far too often.
Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson (James McEvoy) could hardly be called one of Edinburgh’s finest. Wrestling with bipolar and the premature death of a younger sibling, Robertson relies on booze and drugs, which hardly aids and abets the investigation of a murder (which he was too junked up to realise he witnessed) nor his hopes of promotion to DI. Robertson nonetheless excels in bullying his workmates and Masonic brothers, especially mild-mannered accountant Clifford (Eddie Marsden).
As is to be expected, Filth runs the gamut of every conceivable perversity, from Xerox games to whorehouses in Hamburg and auto-erotic asphyxiation, as Welsh’s fascination with shrink-wrapped effigies, nightmare hallucinations and cross-dressing are all given a run for their laundered money.
All good things must, however, come to an end – something to which DS Robertson can heartily attest. Hardly a Christmas classic, what Filth lacks in plot it certainly makes up for in substance abuse, and if drugs, sex, corruption and throwaway one-liners are your thing, this will be right up your back alley.