Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Shame Review: Just how much Shame should you feel?

People have a lot of ideas about what’s right and wrong. There are just some things you shouldn’t do, or talk about, or acknowledge as part of people’s lives. Even those things which people know everyone is doing anyway. Of course this tends to vary between people, depending on their upbringing and personal history. It also differs between men and women generally. What’s right for some people isn’t always right for other people. But you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t agree that they had something they didn’t talk about. You might not be able to get them to admit what those things are, but the fact that they won’t tells you something anyway.

One of the most common things people have trouble talking about though, is sex. Recent years have changed a lot of the conventions about sex, but there are still a lot of hang-ups that people have. These ideas even exist in the porn industry. You may be able to see just about anything you could want on the internet these days, however if you take a good enough look you’ll notice that certain people don’t do certain things. In an industry based upon satisfying the urges and desires of a population no matter what it might be, there is a sense of respectability based on what you do and what you won’t. Doing one of these “wrong things” is at the heart of the film “Shame Starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, they explore the concept of shame from the perspective of a man who doesn’t appear to have any. Fassbender plays Brandon, a man with a good job, a decent social life, and no real problems with women. At least that’s the way it appears on the surface. Upon deeper analysis, very much explored in the film, we see that his life might be financially and socially fulfilled, he clearly has a hole in his life that just isn’t being filled. Despite everything that he has and his ability to pick up chicks, Brandon can’t make a lasting emotional connection to his family, friends or any of the women he gets involved with, to the point that it’s almost psychologically damaging to his ability to perform.

Enter Sissy played by Carey Mulligan, his sister and a woman equally looking for connection that she can’t seem to find. Where Brandon has taken to an emotionally distant approach to people, preferring to keep them at a distance, Sissy appears to have taken the opposite view of dealing with her problems. She throws herself completely into a relationship, emotionally and physically, leaving her devastated when it inevitably falls apart. A tragic reality that seems to leave no way out.

There are people in this world who actually live this way, going from relationship to relationship searching for meaning in someone other than themselves. Or in some cases even avoiding relationships all together and looking for meaning beyond simple relationships. They even get portrayed on film from time to time, often though they end up becoming the quirky and cute character that eventually overcomes it or learns to find it all despite their way of life. Not true of a film like Shame. The director and actors take a more honest and realistic approach to people who live this way and it shows in the way the film plays out.

Just how much Shame should you feel? It’s unlikely that anyone watching this movie won’t feel at least somewhat disturbed by it in some way, but sometimes people need to be reminded of the parts of life we don’t tend to talk about that much. And this movie will definitely do that.

No comments:

Post a Comment