SHAME. Steve McQueen; 2011
What to expect when you’re expecting
Someone is trying to tell you a story: you are just sitting on your sofa and while the dvd is turned on, a series of astonishing images allow you to understand that somebody somewhere wants you to know his history. The problem is you don’t know what is it exactly, because you cannot see everything. You just see what is usually hidden for you. Ironic. Weird, doesn’t it?.
Well: That is what happened to me the moment I watched SHAME. I felt as if I had let that person down, someway, somehow.
An attractive man in his thirties is addicted to sex. I get it. He is well positioned, he has a good job and a luxurious flat of his own in New York, upper side, better side.
He has a sister. I get it. He is constantly receiving calls from her and she is constantly leaving messages that he is not answering.
Avoiding the family, seeking a family, fucking all the time, being obsessed, feeling shame.
But the crisis comes when this character, the attractive/addicted man is forced to face her sister as a problem, not because of him but because of some previous reasons the spectator does not really know and therefore, does not really understand. There is always a past meine liebe, and we all know you cannot get rid of it.
Too many gaps for me, I guess. I like when a story helps you to think further, to go onwards with its characters and to fill in the blanks of your own troubles, but here it is not possible, at least not for me.
SHAME is a film that keeps you waiting and waiting for a solution that is never given, that is not fair: we suffer with the characters and this is why we should be helped with clues. We should know something more, just a little bit, just for saving up those terrible feelings by which you inevitably will.
You will want to look at the other side of the room, the moment the protagonist developes his routine. You will not want to see him naked, full frontal at your face the whole film. Belive me: you will not.
You will see lovely Carey Mulligan begging for attention, not only in the plot, I mean in the movie. She will be stealing glances, even singing as a fake plastic Marilyn, so sad you will never forget.
I am still waiting: I deserve some explanation. I think I’ve got it.