"Filth is set to become a cult hit in the true sense of the word, since it’s not a movie for everyone"

One thing is to say a film was great. Another is to leave the picturehouse with the feeling of having witnessed a new cult movie being born. Filth belongs to the latter, very rare category.

After a series of lacklustre adaptations of Irvine Welsh novels by various directors, all of which failed to replicate the overwhelming success of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting, John S. Baird manages to do the Scottish writer justice.

Welsh was very cautious about putting Filth to screen, rejecting several treatments by other screenwriters during the 15 years since the novel first came out. Now his best selling book finally receives its filmic transposition, and it was well worth the wait.

Filth is set to become a cult hit in the true sense of the word, since it’s not a movie for everyone. It's unrestricted description of a filthy, unjust world may disturb or amaze the audience for the very same reason: it never fails to feel brutally honest. ?Bruce Robertson (James Mc Avoy) is an embezzling cop who’s an alcoholic, drug-addict, sex-maniac, racist and misogynist, and who also suffers from bipolar disorder and hallucinatory episodes.

He sets to walk all over his colleagues in his quest for a promotion, with the hope that this move will get his wife and daugther back. ?In this parable of self-destruction, society’s tabus are tackled with a boldness rarely seen on screen, thus giving way to bursts of cynical humor and stomach-churning delves into corruption and depravity.

Filth is definitely an actors film, and James McAvoy reaches here the peak of his early career. The 34-year-old actor put himself on a diet of burgers, fish and chips, stout and whisky, to play a washed-up, troubled man in his 40's. The masterful way in which he conveys the wide range of emotions of his multi-faceted character puts him at the forefront among the actors of his generation. A commanding performance that can’t be praised enough.

The backing cast is equally strong, with special mentions for Eddie Marsan, Jamie Bell, and Jim Broadbent. ?The movie has one more key element to it: music. The customary selection of pop tunes excels here both in variety and cleverness of use, with some scenes built around music tracks in a way that borders on the genius.

To top it all off, the way the protagonist always repeats the saying “same rules apply” becomes here a catchphrase that is destined to popular folklore.? As said before, an instant cult hit.