Movies With Maricor: Shame

Shame Directed by: Steve McQueen Starring: Michael Fassbender Carey Mulligan By Maricor Capulong   To frankly portray the very essence ...

Directed by: Steve McQueen
Carey Mulligan

To frankly portray the very essence of an addict we have to fully be aware what it is in the human spirit that keeps that addiction going. In this sense, this film fully helps the viewer understand the humbling reality of what it is to be a sexual maniac. The one word that fully describes this movie is this... It is truly HONEST. We see a character cocooned in the very secluded world he has arranged for himself. Looking into his life, you only feel pity and sadness for a self psychologically mutilating person that he had let himself become.

A great relationship collaboration between Director Steve McQueen (no... not the famous actor) and Actor Michael Fassbender. The unity of these two great talents could only result in the telling of a great and tragic story. Both men were applauded for their work in "Hunger," they again join forces to shed light on the reality of sexual addiction. Fassbender plays Brandon Sullivan, a young yuppy living in the epicenter of yuppiville in New York City. Financially stable and physically beautiful, he is painted as someone who has his literal "shit" together. The facade is carefully painted, the perfectness of his crystalline life only has one crackle of a flaw, his unquenchable need for sexual gratification. Visiting porn sites and hiring hookers, he lets his inhibitions loose making it a common day habit. Socially detached and living alone, he enables himself to live in equilibrium. In comes his sister, played fantastically by Carey Mulligan, who also has her own demons to work through. Unlike her big brother, Sissy Sullivan is more aware of the problems and the need to fix the break on their familial relationship. Sissy throws Brandon’s life into a loop when she ushers herself into his life. In this turn of the story, she throws his sexcapade schedule off, enough to shake him into realization that his lifestyle is not so healthy after all.

There are a few cringeful scenes relating to sex, we see the main character having many sexual partners. In one unforgettable scene, Brandon is turned away from a club and he is forced to go to a gay bar instead and randomly hook up with a man. A few minutes later, still not satisfied with having oral copulation with a man, he calls up two women to have a three some. The act of sex is a beautiful thing, but watching Brandon do it in Excess is sickening. Much like watching someone gorge themselves with food, no matter how delectable and well prepared the food may be, watching someone fully extend themselves to eat everything is not a pretty sight. Brandon over extends and over compensates to keep his addiction, he gives up being understood by a potential love interest, and he forfeits his relationship with his sister.
I love the in depth look of a life as a sexual addict. In terms of addiction, I like the fact that the story did not end clean and preserved. Although life altering, the story did not plainly solved the problem cleanly cut. Brandon was still addicted to sex, fucked up things happened, but that may not be his rock bottom. The film subtly explains that there is more steps to overcoming sexual addiction, or any addiction for that matter.
I was not an avid fan of Carey Mulligan prior to this movie. I thought that she was rather stiff and often play the same characters in all her movies. This movie just made me realize she can reach deeper depths when she actually tries to act. You can honestly feel that she believed in this film through her deep and subtle performance, feeding off from a good repertoire between her character and Michael Fassbender’s. Although at times, the two characters cross somewhat of an awkward line. There are times in which their sibling relationship is questioned when they are openly laxed about their bodies to one another… you’ll know when you see it.
In the same token, Michael Fassbender had turned another color in his chameleon like performance of an internally chaotic person. Not alot of actors can pull of a scene, conveying only a message brought out by his facial expression. It is a lost art for actor nowadays to also rely on their bodily movements and facial expressions to also add to their performance. Fassbender’s performance reminds me of the many actors before him who had followed the Strasberg method of acting. The dedication of his performance is commendable, it may be early for me to say, but he truly deserves an Oscar.
I give this film a 4 out of 5 hearts. I also believe it to be a good Oscar contender for this year. May it be best Actor, Best film, or Best Director. I am strongly crossing my fingers for all categories for this film.

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1 comment

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the review, I'll check it out soon!

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