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Filth (2013)
Dir. Jon S. Baird
Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan

Unlike Cryptic's deceptive marketing ploy, Filth's claim of being the spiritual successor to Trainspotting is a fair argument, especially considering that both films are based on novels by the same author: Irvine Welsch. From a narrative perspective, Filth is very similar to Danny Boyle's Trainspotting, and the two do share a few stylistic choices. Even though this film fails to capture most of Trainspotting's passion and cultural relevance, it does have a similarly strange and alluring draw to it.

McAvoy plays a very cruel, yet delightfully despicable character. All of his schemes are completely deplorable, but at the start of the film he's clearly having fun doing it, so it's fairly entertaining to watch him work his magic. Perhaps this speaks more to my own sensibilities than I would like, but I found myself laughing quite a bit during this first act. Things do quickly start to get serious as his mental state deteriorates, and the film's atmosphere appropriately becomes increasingly more unwelcoming with each passing scene.

Filth is a little uneven, but I think that might've been intentional because the movie isn't a fun, enjoyable time; you're supposed to feel a little uncomfortable and put off by what you're seeing. The visuals are not new, exciting, or innovative, but they do really seem to work well with the concept of the film as a whole, and with the exception of a few intentionally odd and unreal scenes, never distracted from the stellar on-screen performances. However if you're not a fan of characters who breath the fourth wall, then you might find yourself agitated as there are quite a few instantness where the main character talks to the audience and looks directly into the camera.

About midway through the film's runtime I was starting to lose faith in the movie, yet despite guessing what you could consider to be the film's major reveal (fairly early on at that), the end of the film astonishingly grabbed my attention again, and ultimately I rather enjoyed the entire concluding act. Despite circumstances being more dire than they were at the start of Bruce's story, the cheekiness of the introductory scenes comes back for the film's final moments, and at least for me, makes the slog through the middle section worthwhile.

Check it out if you're a fan of Trainspotting's brand of humour, but
want something a little more cynical and somewhat less sympathetic.