Thursday, March 22, 2012

Film Roundup - Feb 2012: Shame

Shame (2011)
Directed by Steve McQueen
Rating= A+

Steve McQueen’s earlier film "Hunger" and his follow up "Shame" have something in common. They both depict the sort of damage (both internal and external) that could be inflicted by one’s abused over his body. If Hunger is food deprivation, Shame is about sex addiction. So far, sex is and never was a taboo subject. It remains controversial, titillating and a cause of strict parental worrisome. As I have seen this already I understand if this would be released under the R-18 prohibition. No one below that age bracket should watch this, not due to the extensive sexual scenes, but because there is so much explaining to do. Life is a heartbreak hotel; and the characters that were played poignantly by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan deals with complex psychological problems. Fassbender is Brandon a 30-something yuppie with a well-structured lifestyle dominated by his compulsive sexual activities. However, this was disrupted by the arrival of his equally messed up, dependant personality sister (Mulligan). Though problems reflected in adulthood were commonly caused by childhood experiences, it was never insinuated in the film – but allows – and leaves an open question for the viewers to decide. True to his storyteller ways, McQueen gave us an unflinching and heartbreaking visualization of a likely Dorian Gray figure as to how far a person would go to feed his vice. How over-consumption obliterates an individual – as it leaves him none of his true-self but just a vestige of a rotten and decaying figure of a monster inside him. Shame is a heartbreaking film. In fact, I could go on and on about this, but what lingers into mind to best describe that feeling is the lounge scene with Carey Mulligan singing the slowest rendition of "New York, New York". This film conveys a universal solace for anyone suffering excessively from any form of dysfunction or compulsion. However, it doesn’t lecture its viewers with intensive melodramatic monologues that they should change their life; rather, it enlightens us that battles likes these could be won if help is offered and when everyone reaches out.

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