kees’s review published on Letterboxd:
I haven’t properly watched a film in about three weeks, and through it’s absense, my love for the medium was been called into question, I’ve had to ask myself if this is really what i’m passionate about and on top of that i just didn’t feel like watching a movie which kind of worried me, and it took something as extraordinary as ‘Shame’ to re-invigorate that adoration for the art form, for which i’d begun to lose. Beyond being about a man addicted to sex, it’s an emotionally shattering contemplation on a lonely, depressed man, who resents anything leading to some sort of emotional conflict. Played with a hard boiled, anger induced masculine exterior with an underlying, bundled up sadness by the ever subtlety heart breaking Michael Fassbender, who so often conveys exactly what Brandon is feeling in such internal ways, without saying a single word. Assisting the actor with this, is Steve Mcqueen’s incredibly intimate and understated direction, the moody lighting, the cold and miserable setting, the melancholic colour palette, it all amalgamates to a very damp and inconsolable experience. The way Mcqueen simply places Fassbender in a frame evokes so much of what’s happening in an intramural sense, his emotional detachment, his furious anger, his inability to connect with anything or anyone in a way that’s meaningful. The camera purposefully follows Brandon as he walks around his apartment, or runs through the city and without saying a word, the film is able to say so much about what’s happening within his character, knowing exactly what needs to be said, but more importantly knowing exactly what should remain unsaid, posing as a masterclass in how to tell a story purely through visuals. The only thing that came to mind when thinking of something that, not necessarily bothered me all that much, but just something that slightly took me out of the experience was the use of music, I found it to be slightly manipulative but that was more of the exception rather than the rule. But apart from that I loved almost every second of this film, and just for what it’s done for my movie watching journey, it’s extremely special.