Filth Review – A Voyeurs Kink Rush

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"Filth," from Magnolia Pictures and Steel Mill Pictures, presents a voyeuristic speed-ball kink journey through the underbelly of an addicted life filled with raunchy sex, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and manipulation in pursuit of fulfillment.


Written and directed by Jon S. Baird, "Filth" stars James McAvoy, Imogen Potts, Jamie Bell, Gary Lewis, Katie Dickie, Brian McCardie, John Sessions, Eddie Marsan and Emun Elliott. "Filth" was adapted from the novel by Irvine Welsh.

"Filth" begins as a group of head-bangers corner a young man in a tunnel and brutally attack him. A woman screams and stops the assault making eye contact with one of the attackers.

Through prop placement, the audience understands the attack, not a fantasy, ended in the brutal beating death of the young Asian.  This ushers in the investigation as "Filth" centers on a team of detectives investigating the hate crime.

Scotland detective Bruce Robertson, played by McAvoy, takes the lead as he is also under consideration for a promotion. He mentally reviews the qualifications of each of his team mates, often breaking the fourth wall, the mental assessments are added on screen in equation format.

Bruce Robertson is spiraling out of control, and the film is truly a traumatic exhibition of a life controlled by addictions. As he tries to regain some sense of reality, he is hit briefly with clarity as lifelines show up with the hope of saving this drowning man.

Once caught in the addiction trap it is a short ride from dabbling to captivation as Robertson's life soon becomes a byproduct of his addictions. A sex and drug addict and alcoholic, he becomes the master manipulator as he must hide his predilections to keep his reputation, and his employment. Up for the promotion, he finds each person's Achilles heel and drills until the pulp of the person is exposed.

Robertson soothes his deep wounds with the occasional suave he receives from videos of a gentler season when his highs came from life with his wife and daughter, as he runs from the pain of loss and gives himself fully over to debauchery and damage.

McAvoy captures the addictive personality as he plummets into the abyss, from deep sexual stimulation, the pleasure, the natural conclusion is not sufficient as he adds additional enticements like auto-erotic asphyxia, which are shown, and the man is so deeply addicted to his penis as the audience is quickly realizes. 

I often talk about the whammy of film-making, the spark filmmakers add every three to four minutes, to keep the viewers attention, director  by Jon Baird has taken the viewer on a speed-ball ride. The whammy's are in every scene, and when they are not present the viewer is anticipating and waiting with expectation for some type of whammy from the unstable personality of McAvoy's character.

Barid delivers a powerful portrayal of a deeply addicted personality and the extended damage and is able to draw out of his talent, who all gave themselves over with abandon to the roles, the performances to match the height of his intent.

McAvoy, of course, delivers as he becomes this meltdown of a human being. Eddie Marsan, who plays straight laced, normal accountant, Bladesey, drugged and dancing in a German Gay Club! It is hysterical! Imogen Potts, Jamie Bell, and Kate Dickie all have great moments. The entire cast brings stunning portrayals.

"Filth" obviously contains nudity, high sexual content, kink scenes, auto-erotic asphyxia, full frontal images, drugs and masturbation as Robertson ferociously attacks his penis, the cause of his demise.

"Filth" is not for everyone. I wouldn't pay to see this film and it wouldn't be a choice if I were undecided at the box office. That is not to say it won't do well.

"Filth" is just such an assault on the senses and is evidence that not every door of curiosity needs to be opened.  A high flying ride through the darkened recesses of a mind obsessed wounded and lost. There is no glorification of the habits or deep addictions; the character suffers from his behaviors.

"Filth," depending on personal tolerance or voyeuristic preferences, is best seen in the comfort of one's own home. It is seriously raunchy.

"Filth" is playing everywhere and available on VOD and other streaming platforms.


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