Shame ★★★★★

What a powerful film. McQueen addresses a serious addiction with a very serious and honest precision, discreetly encapsulating the devastating repercussions in a personal life: work relationships, acquaintances, and most importantly, family bonds.

McQueen also scatters clues and hints into what seems to be an intentionally incomplete, yet challenging and thought-provoking character study. The sexual addiction seems to be indicated by very clear and explicit hints, and some of them are left to the imagination. However, when our imagination fills the untold parts of the main character's past life, none of our speculations are pretty. The key part is when Sissy says to Brandon: "We are not bad people. We just come from a bad place." Such bad place seems to be either family-related or childhood-related, maybe referring to the geographical location in which both grew up as kids.

Fassbender, now on his moment of international stardom, provides an immaculate portrayal as a successful businessmen living in wealth, loneliness and surrounded by pornographic content. McQueen does not forget that addictions are sicknesses as well; however, the main danger about addictions stemming from modern frequent habits (such as alcohol, drug consumption and sex) is that most of the symptoms and consequences, excluding those physically manifested, are psychological, intangible and long-term. It is when one arrives to a certain point of life when looking back at all of those lost years seems like a horrifying, inevitable waste of life.

The ending remains clear. It is a statement. The first step in the process of destroying an addiction is the acceptance of its existence. I see several people commenting that they never saw an "addiction" in the film. That is extremely alarming. Either it is because of denial that they are in the same situation, or they are unaware of their own troubles and of the extent of an addiction. This message should be a wake-up call for the 21st Century, because the Gimme Shelter times are evidence of a point of no return and of spoiled (parental) generations.


Edgar liked these reviews