Sunday, 18 March 2012

MOVIE - Shame (2011)

As always, I had very little knowledge of Steve McQueen's film Shame prior to watching it, only that it was about sex, a given considering its R18+ rating. Yes, the film is centred around a man's sexual addiction but there's so much more beyond that.

"In New York City, Brandon's carefully cultivated private life -- which allows him to indulge his sexual addiction -- is disrupted when his sister Sissy arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay."

The storyline is not complicated or elaborate. There are not sudden plot twists or curve balls, what you see on screen is simply what you get.

That is why the film is simultaneously simple and sophisticated. The film purely displays the destructive combination of Brandon's addiction and Sissy's impulsive lifestyle. Easily put, the siblings cannot function together, but beyond that are dark themes not just about sex, but façades, strained relationships and self destruction portrayed not only in Brandon but in Sissy as well.

The 'explicit sex scenes' didn't disturb me at all. About 3/4 through, I was even wondering what the point of the movie was. But the last 20 minutes of the film really hit hard. The movie is built up and executed well and the ending (and by extension the opening) scene was perfect. Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan are excellent and have such good chemistry which is why the movie works so well.

Brandon draw parallels with Patrick Bateman of American Psycho, nonetheless the character stands on his own and I'm conflicted in whether to reprimand or pity him.

Overall, despite my original doubts, this is a very engaging, intriguing, intense film. A seemingly straightforward plot gives you much to think about and more than one viewing is required to comprehend the film.


  1. I really really want to watch this movie despite the explicit sex, though I can't figure out how to convince the cinema workers that I'm 18+ and can watch R rated movies :(

    1. it is such a good film! well you're turning 18 this year so you can buy the dvd later, or watch the movie through other means... ahem ;)