There are those rare films every once in a while that are more than just entertaining or beautiful pieces of the art. These uncommon films offer you an experience like no other in which you feel strongly for the characters portrayed. Instead of just wondering where the films story will go you find yourself caring wholeheartedly about the events and characters put on screen no matter what happens. The motion picture Shame is just that kind of experience.
Shame is almost majestic in the way that no matter how heart breaking or tragic the film can be, you never feel detached or uninterested. Only a film as profoundly brilliant as Shame can make you feel so much. I mean is that not the point of a piece of art? To make you feel something. There are only a handful of cinematic pieces of art created annually and Shame is certainly one of them.
Shame is an exercise in the ideas of addiction and family established through a character study of Brandon Sullivan. The film opens and we are immediately introduced to Brandon, a man with the inability to make human connection based on his sexual addiction. His dark private life hits a speed bump when his irresponsible, yet seemingly loving younger sister Sissy comes to stay at his apartment.
Brandon isn’t just a sex addict. This is a character that is defined by his sexual addiction and his inability to change. Michael Fassbender portrays the incredibly demanding part to literal perfection. He caught my attention first in Inglourious Basterds but in this he gives one of the greatest male performances I’ve seen in a long time. Carey Mulligan as Sissy Sullivan was great and I’m coming to the belief that I can expect nothing less from her.
What Steve McQueen has crafted in Shame is a no-holds-barred emotionally draining drama that is simply unforgettable. McQueen creates a story around this uncomfortable subject matter and yet somehow finds a way to comfort you in the way that the film is so relentlessly beautiful both in its themes and the way it’s made. Shame is a true a achievement and a film that deserves enduring praise.