Driven by compelling performances by Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, Shame is a well directed drama about sexual addiction.
Brandon ( Michael Fassbender) lives on a regular dose of random physical encounters. With his good looks and a financially stable life, he doesn’t have a hard time finding a partner to satisfy his urges. If not he finds satisfaction by himself. When his sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) makes an unexpected visit and an indefinite stay, Brandon’s insulated life goes out of control.
With great performances and a well executed story, Shame turns a controversial subject into an interesting character study. Fassbender and Mulligan provided a good contrast and tension in the film – he shuns real intimacy, while she is desperate for a connection.
The subject of sexual addiction was handled very well, showing Brandon’s well maintained cravings without being gratuitous. The movie doesn’t just focus on the controversy, but also explores the lengths people go through to fill their need or dull the pain.
However, the turning point of his story doesn’t stem from an internally driven personal transformation but rather from an external trigger – his sister Sissy is an obvious opposite. Predictably, she disturbs the comfortable routine of Brandon who’s contented with his life.
Apart from a conveniently placed conflict, the movie is still a compelling take on the life of a sex addict. It’s not far fetched to think that both siblings may have gone through something in childhood that fucked them up both.
Overall, Shame is an engaging movie that makes you think about sex addiction as not just an excuse by oversexed people.
My Rating: 9/10