Now that I’ve had a twenty-four hour recovery period, I’m going to try to have a coherent reaction to this film. I really am. So here goes.
Filth emotionally violated me.
I think that just about covers it.
Okay, maybe a few more details.
It’s a dark, horrible, filthy movie. The title has it right. And it’s hilarious in a dark, horrible, filthy way. I laughed, a lot, and then felt like a terrible person for laughing, so I laughed some more. And then it becomes utterly heartbreaking, but you don’t want to let it break your heart because the main character is such a hideous excuse for a human being, so the you feel bad, yet somehow awful for feeling at all bad. It’s a masterwork of utter, fucked up discomfort.
James McAvoy gets so much credit here as the greasy-haired, nearly psychopathic main character, Bruce. Bruce is an awful, awful person. There is no excuse at all for his existence, or for what he does. I think even the most hard core of villain defenders (daddy didn’t love him enough! he had a terrible childhood!) would be hard-pressed to justify Bruce. Yet there is such a deep, raw core of pain to him that you can’t help but empathize with him when he breaks down just because McAvoy is so damn good. (And of course later, you can ask yourself just how many of Bruce’s actions were really under his rational control, though I think the end number would still be utterly inexcusable.)
Add to that the visual effects, flashes of Bruce’s insanity and just the way the movie is cut makes it surreal, disturbing, and vertiginous. Which is to say it’s a stunningly well-filmed and well-done movie but WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK, JON S BAIRD.