Shame

Story By: Frank Lopez, Rampage Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Writer and director Steve McQueen (Hunger) must have had absolutely no shame when he made “Shame,” and he shouldn’t.
With its risqué subject matter, long-shot sex scenes that leave little to the imagination, and gratuitous nudity, it is no surprise that it received an NC-17 rating. “Shame” is a very well written and beautifully shot film with spectacular performances from its cast.
“Shame” won the award for best film at the Venice Film festival, and several other awards at other film festivals. It gained favorable reviews from most critics and grossed $6,916,337 worldwide.
“Shame” revolves around Brandon Sullivan who is played by Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class, Inglorious Basterds), a business executive living in New York City. Brandon is a sex addict who is constantly paying for prostitutes, hooked on Internet porn and webcam girls, and always has an eye out for random women to sleep with.
 The movie begins with Brandon indulging in all of his addictions. He woos beautiful women on the subway with his sexual gaze. He goes to a bar with his friend Dave, who attracts fewer women than Brandon. Dave tries all night to go home with a woman at the bar, and she chooses to sleep with Brandon shortly after rejecting Dave. When his sister Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan (Pride and Prejudice, Drive), a singer, comes to stay with him, past feelings of tension arise.
Sissy is a very needy, emotional, and insecure young woman and Brandon criticizes her for being lazy and always having to depend on someone. Her actions and words show that she really loves her brother and wants to improve their relationship, as Brandon has painfully ignored her from his life.
 When Brandon finds himself in the midst of passion with a co-worker that he has had his eye on and actually has true feelings for, he finds that he is not able to sexually perform.
As tension with his sister rises, Brandon partakes in all of his crutches, but this just keeps adding to his feelings of shame and self-repulsion.
Feeling confused, ashamed, and angry, he goes to a gay club and experiments with a man, but finds that it does not satisfy him and he compensates by having a threesome with two women.
The film doesn’t end with any resolution between him and his sister, but it does end with a note of hope and possibly some new beginnings. Nor does it end with Brandon necessarily changing his ways, but leaving it at more of a mystery, and letting ones faith in him, or lack of it, guide Brandon’s path.
 “Shame” is a brutally honest movie that takes a look at a man who has given in to all of his impulses and can no longer feel any joy from anyone or anything. It shows the disgust that human beings may have for themselves when they are giving in or desperately pursuing their pleasures.
 There are scenic shots of New York City and it is filmed with an almost voyeuristic eye that gets right into the faces and settings of the characters. While some of the shots were a little long and drawn out, it does add to the atmosphere of emptiness and anxiety. When Brandon is having sex with women, their face is hardly shown, focusing more on the body, and displays these random women as faceless objects that he uses for pleasure and escape.
McQueen has made a very well-crafted film that explores an edgy subject with a sympathetic and humanistic approach.  If watched with an open mind, “Shame” can be a very touching story that looks at an often overlooked aspect of sexual relations in America today.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email