Shame, directed by Steve McQueen features Michael Fassbender as Brandon, a good looking and seemingly successful 30-something businessman living in Manhattan, who is an avid sex addict with an equally dysfunctional younger sister Sissy played by Carey Mulligan
Brandon has sex like an alcoholic drinker: compulsively, indiscriminately, and for the sake of release rather than for intimacy, pleasure, or human feeling. Sissy is a needy and desperate women, constantly indulging with any men and lacks a proper emotional stability.
At first glance, it looks like a myriad compilation of carnal scenarios faced by an avid sex addict. But upon deeper contemplation one is forced to see the tyranny of evil that is manifested by sexual abuse in one’s childhood and how it ponders and resurfaces itself in the future. The movie is a keen observation about the two characters coping to the evils faced by them in their childhood.
One of the best things about Shame — aside from Fassbender’s and Mulligan’s spellbinding performances — is its portrait of the city of New York which seems overtly realistic and non – hollywoodish as portrayed by some of the other mainstream films. The use of lighting and static long takes helps one to better focus on the characters and their actions connecting the audiences to the world and the lives of both the main characters and helps to interpret the subtlety which is beautifully embedded through out the movie.
The tile is aptly named as Brandon is constantly shamed and in self disgust towards his sexual addiction, and tries to break the loop and the vicious cycle. It is this constant, effort to change the habit after which the movie is named. Shame, is a movie for those who like to view films with their own interpretations and look beyond a mere subject and get binded in the realms of a psychosexual journey of the individual.