Brandon is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon's world spirals out of control… And this is it. The whole storyline of the movie can be summarized in 2 short sentences, and trust me, you cannot add much to the description – and that is probably the biggest shame of the whole film.
Michael Fassbender is definitely in demand. Prometheus, Haywire, Dangerous Method, X-men: First Class, Jane Eyre – he featured in so many movies in the past two years and yet he still looks new to the audience, the definite star on the rise. And Shame is probably the most challenging movie of them all; it required a lot of a talent from Fassbender to act as the sex-crazed man convincingly. I have to give a credit to him for that, he managed to do it very well. The scene on the train, where innocent-come-predatory smile of Fassbender unsettles the young woman sitting opposite to him, is very powerful and proves wrong all the critics who claim that Fassbender is massively overrated. He proves once again that he is fantastically capable, charismatic and skillful actor, and I definitely look forward to see him in Dangerous Method and Prometheus. Carey Mulligan made a perfect support for the Fassbender’s performance, even though I still find it hard to admire her always on-the-brink-of-crying slightly hysterical face.
But even though the cast performed to their best, there is insurmountable problem with the movie – its plot. Absolutely nothing happens in the world inhabited by Brandon Sullivan and his sister, absolutely nothing. It could very well be the way to explain to the viewers the severity of the situation encountered by Brandon, but I personally go to the cinema to see the story, not the lack of it. Some people may and will find the movie as very metaphorical, literally putting you in the Brandon’s shoes – this is something in which the film succeeds. But in terms of story-telling, it is failing spectacularly, because it is difficult to tell the story when there is basically nothing to tell. The movie plunges you in the depths of boredom, the only thing you will be thinking about: «When will this finally come to the end?!” Actually, as it gets closer to the finish, some story unwraps, but it is too late to save the film.
So even though Fassbender and Mulligan delivered their finest performances, poor plot fails to keep the attention of the audience and to provoke thoughts other than seeking the nearest exit.
VERDICT: Amazing performance by Fassbender, mind-boggling boring plot
WATCH: if you want to see Fassbender’s star on the rise, or if you generally prefer descriptive rather than story-based movies.