Shame was not released this weekend. In fact it was released a few weeks ago but we decided to see it as it was only released in my local cinema this weekend, for some unknown daft reason. I had this same issue last year with the film Drive, where it was released a week later in the Wolverhampton Cineworld and then disappeared after a week. As we had had this problem before, we decided to see Shame this week just in case it disappeared after a week. I admit that I was pushing to see Shame over the newly released The Grey and The Descendants, especially since I had heard so many good things about it and how good Fassbender is in it. However I left feeling absolutely disappointed and felt that is was a waste of a movie.
The film is aimed towards a strong theme of addiction and it does show addiction in a rather disturbing way, but Fassbender was generally watching pornographic films at home, getting in a sneaky tug in the work cubicle or having sex with a woman in an underpass of a motorway. Is this an addiction or something most men do or want to do?
The introduction of his sister shows a strange background story developing, especially with them both craving attention in different ways. I didn't pick up on anything about their background and I only gather this from my girlfriend's opinions after the film. They don't develop the backstory, it is a film of him in the here and now struggling with wanting a lot of sex. I just don't get that. What does all that mean? Perhaps the siblings had a disturbing backstory, and if so then tell me about it. I know the director may want us to interpret it ourselves but give us something to chew on. Considering I left the cinema completely unaware of their past makes me think there was nothing to get our teeth into.
If I watched it again I may pick it up but the reasons I didn't was because the director refuses to change camera angle and we end up watching the same image for a good few minutes and instead of listening I found myself willing the camera angle to change. It was uncomfortable to watch and was causing me to become aggitated. At one stage we have a tracking shot of his running through New York. No cuts just one tracking shot which leads to nothing. What was the point? Another time is a close up of Carey Muligan as she sings an entire rendition of New York, New York. It was frustrating to watch. The sex scenes were also awkward as they became too graphic when they didn't need to be. It was as if Steve McQueen (Director) was trying to be too artsy and pretentious. The sex scenes were so much that out of seven people in the cinema, three walked out. I think that says something.
A few good points are the acting from Fassbender is good and the opening ten minutes, acting and music especially, are good and maybe the final fifteen but other than that it was thoroughly disappointing and it made me wish I had taken my girlfriend's advice and seen The Grey or The Descendants instead.
Pros: The acting is decent and one or two short scenes. The score is pretty good also.
Cons: Slow pacing. Long camera takes. Over use of unnecessary sexual images. Watching Fassbender's penis flap across screen before watching him take a piss. Why?!
4 / 10
2012 so far:
1. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol 7 / 10
2. J. Edgar 4.5 / 10
3. The Iron Lady 4.5 / 10
4. Shame 4 / 10