Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Delightfully Disturbing Cinema

Four years ago, the movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh's 1998 novel Filth was released, and despite being a big fan of his novels, and the movie versions, I missed this one. But I finally got to see it this weekend, and like the book, it was delightfully disturbing. 

The story follows a detective in Welsh's hometown of Edinburgh Scotland who is trying his best to manipulate every person and situation around him in order to secure a promotion. Played brilliantly by James McAvoy, Detective Bruce Robinson is a drug riddled malcontent not unlike the skagboys in his popular Trainspotting novel, except Bruce Robinson carries a badge, which he uses as a means to get away with indulgences. 

Handed a high-profile murder case, Bruce has his hands full trying to work the case while also undermining his colleagues to put himself in the front runner position for the promotion within the force, which he believes will win back his estranged wife and daughter and reunite his family. 

For a little while, he able to handle this tangled web expertly. Everything seems to be going his way and falling into place, but eventually, his drug habits and hidden psychological problems begin to take their toll and he begins to crack under the stress.

The movie begins to unfold like a crime mystery, though the mystery isn't the actual murder at the center of the film, but rather the complicated hidden parts of the life of Detective Bruce Robinson. There's a weirdness about this movie that is part Terry Gilliam, part David Lynch, part John Waters. For the first half of the film, these weird elements seem disjointed and odd, but as the mystery unfolds, they take on meaning and prove themselves to be relevant to the story. Certainly not a film for everybody, but fans will appreciate it.

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