Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Shame by Steve McQueen

One of the perks of working in  the industry that I am in and also being tied to the art community is the free screenings of movies, both released and soon-to-be released.

Because one of the characteristics of Angeleno is being extremely busy, I lucked out and got a ticket from my friend who couldn't make it to a pre-screening of Steve McQueen's Shame starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.


Now am I a seasoned film critic? No. Did I study film? No. But did I grow up in LA and love a good story and how it is being told? Yes!

Shame tells a story of a New York yuppie who in the surface, seem to have everything going for him but battles a strong sexual addiction. His younger sister unexpectedly pops in his life and the balance (and fascade) that he had going for so long slowly becomes off -balanced. What we then see is a slow unravelling of a man who is trying to "get it together."

This movie was described as a thriller. I don't think it really falls into that category. After coming out of a whole month of suspense, horror, zombie, supernatural and murder movies, this pace certainly forced me to slow down and absorb the movie, catching McQueen's every detail, the non-dialogue between people and the intense message that is relayed, and the acting skills of Fasserbend and Mulligan. (Fasserbend's character Brandon says very little while Mulligan's character, Sissy, speaks a lot. )

Brandon and Sissy:
There is an interesting dynamics between the sibling relationship between Brandon and Sissy. Brandon lives a meticulous, organized, almost sterile, minimalist life. It fits his demeanor of being a non-emotional pragmatic who seems to be driven only by his basic needs of food, sleep, drive for success and sex.

His sister on the otherhand, is a complete mess, a beautiful one at that. Motivated by her emotions, she is a whirlwind of surprises, acting upon the unbearable lightness of the moment and not thinking ahead of the consequences.

Though polar opposites of the spectrum, Brandon and Sissy both look for stability and a feeling of being human, anything that would ground them from that feeling of losing control behind the masks. (The end scene which brings them together was pretty intense and heavy.)

I've been watching a few of Fasserbender's movies (Fish Tank and X-men: First Class) and I was hella excited in finding out that he was the lead in this movie. He pushed the limits of this character and after getting pass my school girl crush on him, I am amazed at how far he went to bring this character to life.

I do recommend this movie (definitely beautiful, visually poetic), but not if you are thinking of bring a first time date. There is a reason why it's rated NC 17 and every reason is damn good. =)

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