Published on April 29th, 2012 | by dvdpinson0
Shame is Available Now on Blu-ray/DVD
“Shame” is available now on Blu-ray/DVD but you will have to seek it out. The ridiculous reality of the NC-17 rating that the film has been given is that most retailers will not carry it. No Target. No Walmart. You best bet is Amazon. Link Here.
Watching Michael Fassbender and his penis’ performance as Brandon Sullivan, the broken sex addict who struggles through life in the psycho-sex drama “Shame,” I was haunted by one burning question: What if I was an ugly, unattractive sex junkie? How would that work? It has to happen, sex addiction is a very real and sad thing but I’m sure it’s a much easier affliction to have if you look like Mr. Fassbender with his chiseled jaw line and piercing stare. In fact, he has women throwing themselves at his crotch the entire duration of “Shame” which would, at least, facilitate the problem.
But what if you didn’t have the looks and the nice apartment (Brandon has beautiful pad in Manhattan just blocks from Madison Square Garden) and your job couldn’t afford constant prostitutes. I would like to see a sequel to “Shame” about a man who is addicted to sex but is missing a couple teeth and lives in a singlewide mobile home without Internet access. Now back to Fassbender’s penis…I mean a brief synopsis of the film “Shame”.
Brandon leads a sterile and repetitive life. The first moments of “Shame” are rhythmic as we see the cycle and rut of a sex addict. Sex, shower, masturbate, sex (this time paid for), shower…etc. After each session at home, Brandon checks his voice messages which always feature his sister, Sissy (Carey Mulligan) asking him why he is avoiding her. The missed calls do not keep Sissy away and she shows up, unannounced with no place to go. Reluctantly Brandon allows her in and this shatters his fragile world as things from his past get dredged up and he must face sickness.
What “things from his past” you might be wondering? We are not told. It has to be pretty serious abuse as both Brandon and Sissy have some serious issues. Fassbender makes Brandon a near-robot, emotionless and stiff. It is clear that the only way the man feels any sort of emotion or connection is through the sex act but it is destroying him. As the film progresses, Brandon unfurls until he is running through the city, screwing anything that will allow it. It’s a great performance with subtleties that are almost invisible.
Mulligan matches Fassbender with a solid turn as Sissy. “Shame” is littered with what little dialogue there is feels improvised. One note: Why do actors use the “F word” so very much when improving scenes? I am no prude (I actual have the limited vocabulary of a sailor who can only remember monosyllabic words) but it is distracting.
Writer/Director Steve McQueen (No. Not that Steve McQueen. If your last name is McQueen, maybe name number one to avoid when christening you son is Steve. Just saying) give “Shame” an incredible rawness and paints a vivid picture of a sex addict. It is maybe too affective as the film becomes numbing as it wears on. No clean answers are presented, no motivations made clear, but the results of the dysfunction are on full display.
The film is notorious for being the latest to try and remove the stigma of the NC-17 rating. I wrote a piece on that which can be found here. “Shame” failed to reach an audience though and the shame of the rating remains. The film is meant for adults and should not be seen by anyone under the age of 17. That is all an NC-17 should signify.
Blu-ray Special Features:
Focus on Michael Fassbender
Director Steve McQueen
The Story of Shame
A Shared Vision
Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character With Michael Fassbender