Fassbender magnificent in ‘Shame’10/05/2012 - 15:14:16
(Cert 18, 96 mins, Drama)
Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a handsome thirtysomething office worker who is never short of bedfellows, including one of the secretaries (Nicole Beharie).
Anonymous pick-ups temporarily sate his cravings for physical pleasure but at night he hungrily scours adult sites on the internet.
He even indulges his fantasies on his work PC and one morning his boss David (James Badge Dale) calls Brandon into his office to warn, “Your hard drive’s filthy”.
Brandon’s routine of soulless couplings and seedy hook-ups is thrown into disarray by the arrival of his younger sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan), who is carving out a career as a singer. Shame pulls no punches in its depiction of Brandon’s base desires.
Fassbender rises to the challenge magnificently – no pun intended – portraying his office drone as an empty husk, miserably alone in a city that never sleeps.
Mulligan is equally mesmerising, nabbing the film’s best moment when Sissy performs in a bar and the camera lingers on her face as she sings a heartbreaking rendition of New York, New York.
Littered with graphic scenes of sex and full-frontal male nudity that fully justify the 18 certificate, Shame is neither erotic nor arousing.
Quite the opposite – this piercing study of human behaviour is clinical and non-judgmental, laying bare the flawed characters as they stumble towards the brink of self-destruction without any indication that the director or his co-writer Abi Morgan will pull them back from the abyss.
Cinema through Steve McQueen’s lens is never cute or fluffy but nor is real life.
more stories like this:
- once per day, no spam.