Ad­dic­tion, im­pure and sim­ple

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

THERE is a fa­mous statis­tic that re­veals the av­er­age male thinks about sex ap­prox­i­mately once ev­ery 10 min­utes.

In Shame, we meet a man who has been able to sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove upon that fig­ure. And when he isn’t think­ing about sex there is ev­ery pos­si­bil­ity he is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the process.

Bran­don Sul­li­van ( Michael Fass­ben­der) is a sex ad­dict. While he seem­ingly has it all – good looks, great job, fancy apart­ment – he would much rather be do­ing it all.

Liv­ing the high life in New York City makes Bran­don’s ca­pit­u­la­tion to his urges far too easy. And ever more dan­ger­ous.

How did he get this way? How can he change his ways?

These are not ques­tions Shame will be an­swer­ing. For Bran­don, the mould had been defini­tively struck.

The plot­ting of Shame is com­pressed to a tight time­frame, which be­gins with Bran­don be­ing paid a sur­prise visit by his sis­ter, the capri­cious Sissy ( Carey Mul­li­gan).

She has come to stay for a few days, which in­ter­rupts Bran­don’s rou­tine of ap­point­ments with pros­ti­tutes, and marathon ses­sions on the grub­bier stretches of the in­ter­net.

There is some­thing pro­foundly un­set­tling about how Bran­don and Sissy get along – some­thing that hap­pened in the past that, again, the film re­frains from re­veal­ing – that has im­pacted on their abil­ity to form last­ing re­la­tion­ships.

The per­for­mance of Fass­ben­der as Bran­don is in­cred­i­ble. The con­trolled man­ner in which he con­veys his char­ac­ter’s con­di­tion is pow­er­house act­ing.

As for the film as a whole, Shame is to be feared, re­spected and ap­plauded for its dev­as­tat­ing por­trait of ad­dic­tion in its purest form. Here, it is sex. But it could be drugs, al­co­hol, gam­bling.

What we dis­cover is that no mat­ter what route you take to self- destruc­tion, the road ahead is a lonely one, and you’ll con­tinue to pick up speed as your final des­ti­na­tion ap­pears.

Now show­ing State Cinema

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.