Shame: Brave, Original, and Mesmerizing


Director: Steve McQueen

Screenplay: Abi Morgan, Steve McQueen

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan

Genre: Drama

Run time: 1 h 41 m

Year: 2011

Get ready for an original erotic experience in some real private sexual life of single guy in New York City. Honestly, I find myself feel really disturbing every time I watch film full of nudity sexual scenes, but not this one:)). This isn’t kind of usual drama, it’s a psychosexual thriller.

This tells about a lonely businessman, Brandon Sullivan (Fassbender), who is a sex addict and his addiction knows no bounds. His estranged sister, Sissy (Mulligan), just drops into his apartment unexpectedly and makes the situation worse when she decides to stay.

The plot seems simple and usual. But there is something mesmerizing about this. It’s just irresistible. It emphasizes about the portrait of Brandon more. McQueen and Morgan write about Brandon character into deeper. He tries to be an ordinary New Yorker in public, but whenever he has some private leisure time, he will enter his real dark side of his sexual life in his comfort apartment: watches pornography, masturbates, or even picks up any women, hires prostitute. He knows that it gives some bad and distortion impact to his daily life. It’s very difficult for him to stop. His life begins out of control gradually.

 

Things become more complex after Sissy, his distress sister, comes suddenly to his place to extended stay. For him, she is just unexpected. She begins to interfere his life, including his work and of course, his private sexual life.

For somehow, I don’t know what point McQueen wants to tell us. It’s between Brandon’s sexual addiction or the hard relationship between him and his stubborn sister. McQueen really creates some story limitation that makes us to interpret some matters. We just try to guess why Brandon gets sexual addiction and what happened about their family so they finally take apart and Sissy becomes unstable.

However, his stylish direction by using hand held camera is amazing. It reminds me of Darren Aronofsky’s. Some long sequences are made perfectly and beautifully. You can see it when Brandon does jogging at night and the conversation between Brandon and Marianne in a restaurant. It feels like you are really watching them in front of you.

 

Fassbender gives everything on this film (including his all body:). He totally delivers performance of a year. What an achievement. It deserves an Oscar nominee at least. I think he offers a better performance than the winner of best leading actor in Golden Globe this year, George Clooney. I believe he can hypnotize the audiences from the beginning to the end, just like what happened to me.

Mulligan’s role as Sissy who lack of affection and wants to be loved is truly good. This is another side of Mulligan. Her passionate role is quite surprised me. I usually see her well in melancholic film such as Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go (2010) and Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive (2011). And this is a good breakthrough for her.

I like the score very much. It sounds intense and melancholic at the same time. It can capture outstandingly what Brandon feels about his life in sexual addiction and its consequence in his mind. The first 15 minutes and the last 5 minutes sequences are really impressive and haunting.

Overall, this film isn’t for all audiences. It’s a genuinely adult film. And this doesn’t just show sexual nudity scene. Yes it is, but, like what I said, there is something mesmerizing deserves to watch. I can compare it with drugs addict story in Aronofsky’s Requiem for A Dream. And of course, I adore Requiem for A Dream more:)).

–HW (7.8/10)–

Quote Choice:

Sissy Sullivan: We’re not bad people. We just come from a bad place.

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