Thursday, December 29, 2011

7. Shame

This is the new film from director Steve McQueen. The main character played by Irish actor Michael Fassbender. Brandon is the main character of the movie and he’s got a horrible sexual addiction. All he really wants to do is connect with someone in a real and genuine way but it just never seems to happen. His sexual escapades are raw but you can see that he is searching for more, something else. When his wayward younger sister, Sissy, (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment shaking memories of their shared painful past, Brandon's insular life spirals out of control. Sissy is a cutter and equally damaged character comes to stay with him and he tries to protect her from life but it isn’t always possible.

Brandon is isolated by his addiction. He takes regular masturbation breaks in his workplace restroom. He orders prostitutes at night, sometimes several. His laptop at home has by pay-per-minute cam-girls who know him by name; his desktop at work is so rotten with porn that IT support takes it away. Brandon has sex compulsively, indiscriminately, and for the sake of release rather than for intimacy or even pleasure.

The movie is extremely slow-paced, Director Steve McQueen lingers on scenes until they reach, and surpass, emotional breaking point. Shame is not exactly a sexy date movie, but it is not disgusting either. Brandon doesn't have sex like normal people, his entire sexuality seems to be rooted in self-hatred.

The film ends with Brandon on the moment of a decision, but we don't know whether he's going to take the one that could actually help him. There is little indication in the movie that there is hope. This is one of the best movies you’ll see this year and you will not be able to stop thinking about these characters.

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