Shame (2011) is poignant and mesmerising. The story is to the point in subtle and gentle ways, and it has managed to burrow into the mind of a true film story seeker. This film is most definitely one my new favourites, and it is down to the story, the detail of the shots and the amazing acting by Michael Fassbender. If you look into most films these days, there is a lack of brilliant acting; acting that would draw you into a deeper awareness of the characters on screen rather than who is playing them. For that, I highly recommend this film to true film lovers – of all genres!
The score and the music selections heard throughout the film go hand in hand in such a manner that you would instantly recognise the film, and feel the emotion of each scene. Each track is a way to narrow in on the mindset of each character, like the constant teasing of words from each song played when Brandon’s sister Sissy pops up. I loved how the shots open up the stirrings of Brandon’s character, one major example would be the scenes when he is mostly on his own, he is centred perfectly, but in other scenes when he is quite erratic the shots are unstable mimicking his emotional instability – the lack of control you miss when spending time with an unsuspected addict.
I have heard too many times that people will only see films with their favourite actors or directors, I do it too but every once in a while you come across an actor who really shakes you with his performance. For me, and for the sake of their acting and their ability to bring a character into your living room, Ben Whishaw (The Hollow Crown: Richard II, Perfume: Story of a Murderer) and Michael Fassbender shock the living daylights out of me. Shame is amazing. Fassbender is amazing. More importantly Brandon is unnerving. His addiction and the sexual scenes are pure art from where I stand. I felt profound sadness when watching Brandon unfold as the film rolled on, as he is not what most people would assume a sex addict would be. The story dealt with the pressures, stresses and possible reason behind his addiction, but from his point of view, the view that is often overlooked and I found this tremendous. Steve McQueen did an excellent job here, detailing the suffering that this lone man feels. I guess, as a young woman and a social animal, I never thought having a sex addiction was so lonely and so sad – I just want to give Brandon a hug.
I don’t want to give too much away, and I’m sure there are lots I would happily tell you all, but this is a film you need to see at least three times before you judge it. Seriously go buy it, enjoy it and have an open mind. Hopefully, you will be blown away like I was. For now, enjoy the trailer so it can wet your lips, and later wait with me on Steve McQueen’s next film 12 Years a Slave.