Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's A Shame

There's an awful lot of sex in "Shame" but it is never titillating.  In this movie, sex represents a person's entrapment to something that is so destructive that it almost literally kills someone. Michael Fassbender literally is naked and raw in this movie, but this bareness represents sadness. This is a man who is imprisoned by his own feelings, and they just happen to revolve around sex. Sex has no more meaning for him, but the meaning of his unfeeling for it is the true meaning of the movie. That sounds so grand and meaningless, and perhaps that is the point of the movie. His already complex world is rocked when his sister, played by Carey Mulligan, arrives in his apartment. Clearly, she is as troubled as he is, and the only clue we get is when he starts bawling when she sings a heartbreaking version of "New York, New York." (Trust me, the scene is better seen that described) Sensing the pain that they both feel, Mulligan says to him, "We are not bad people, we just come from a bad place."  It's mentioned that they both come from New Jersey (That damn Chris Christie!) There is a tug and pull on how we see these characters, chastising them for the mistakes theya re doing before our eyes, and at the same time sympathizing because we can clearly see these people are so messed up. It is to the credit of both actors because both give such beautiful confusion in their performances. Whatever it is they are doing and what is happening out there on screen, we never disbelieve it. Things come to a head and we see both characters in pain and we see Fassbander run in the evening while it is raining. I was torn between being disgusted by the movie, and admiring it. But one thing is certain, I was still thinking about the characters hours later. 

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