Thursday, April 10, 2014
Indie Review: Shame
Artistic and Marvelous Film That Might Still Make You Feel 'Shame' When Watching It
I may not have ever been an addict and I hope that I never become one, but I can still say the film Shame offers a brutally realistic look at just how addiction consumes us and gets the better of us. Not only that, but it shows how it affects our family and those that we love. Except it deals with a kind of addiction that isn't often depicted these days: sex addiction.
Shame is about a man Brandon Sullivan (Michael Fassbender) who lives by himself in his apartment New York City and has a secret sex addiction. Brandon's life of solitude is then disrupted by the arrival of his troubled sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) and while she is staying at his apartment, his addiction begins to take a physical and mental toll on him.
What I Liked About It:
First off, the thing that I loved the most about this film, which makes it, is the phenomenal performance by the acting powerhouse that is Michael Fassbender. Fassbender gives a performance that is rather haunting yet vulnerable and does an extraordinary job at playing a rather ordinary troubled human being. Carey Mulligan is also fantastic as Sissy, Brandon's sister who is very emotionally needy and is always relying on others to help her through her troubles. One of my favorite scenes that they had was the scene where Brandon shows up at a place where Sissy has a singing gig and she does a rendition of "New York, New York". As she is singing beautifully, Brandon begins to tear up. To me, that scene shows how despite Brandon being a very troubled man, still deeply cares very much for his sister and that shows how he is a rather misunderstood hero.
Another thing that I really liked was the brilliant direction by Steve McQueen, who also gave us the Best Picture winner 12 Years A Slave. Most of the film has him doing long tracking shots and to me, it just creates a more realistic feel for the film. Even in the sex scenes, he hardly cuts away. Not only that, but he creates rather interesting color schemes. Most of the film has Brandon wearing different shades of the color blue, which represents both tranquility and depression. There is even one scene towards the end where Brandon walks into a gay bar that has red lighting, which represents guilt, and a scene where both Brandon and Sissy are wearing white, which represents innocence and purity. To me, that makes sense since because it represents a more softer side to their characters.
What I Didn't Like About It:
Overall, Shame is a graphic yet brutally honest look at addiction that features a powerhouse, hauntingly subtle performance from its lead actor. Now, I'm not sure if this is one I would recommend to everyone because the sex scenes are pretty explicit. But, I would say it is a good film to watch to get some perspective on how hard addiction really is, whether it would be sex or drug addiction, and try to not go down that road not just because of your well-being, but because of how addiction affects your family.