Film review: Shame

FROM the very outset, I should probably say that this isn’t a film to watch with your parents, or children, or, well pretty much anybody, The word graphic doesn’t really do it justice. But, if you’re not easily shocked, read on.

‘Shame’ follows Brandon (Michael Fassbender), as he lives an ostensibly normal, well-paid, New York life, punctuated by an extreme addiction to sex which dominates his existence. His lifestyle is disrupted, however, when his emotionally troubled sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) turns up out of the blue, with the intention of staying with him. Her presence forces him to adapt in uncomfortable ways, with the tense relationship between the two hinting at some dark past we are left to infer for ourselves. It’s a bit like American Psycho without the chainsaw.

McQueen is an exceptionally good director, and Fassbender is certainly game. You’re left with an intimate picture few actors would ever give, no matter how dedicated. Both Fassbender and Mulligan have already garnered critical praise for their performances, and it’s one that leaves more questions than answers.