I won’t lie, the appeal of Shame for me was really the fact that this was about sex addiction and the sex addict was Michael Fassbender. As a hot-blooded woman, yes I do find Michael Fassbender extremely attractive, but I am a huge fan of him as an actor. He has been so impressive over the past few years from Inglourious Basterds to Fish Tank to X-Men: First Class. He never ceases to amaze me with each performance and how he really can disappear into a role, and how raw so many of his performances are. So putting him in the role of an addict seemed like an interesting fit and something I knew he was going to delve right into.
Under the direction of Steve McQueen, with a script co-written by the man with Abi Morgan, Shame is an interesting and a very confronting film. While this does cover sex addiction, it really could be about any sort of addiction it just happened to be about that one. It really expresses in so many different ways what it means to be an addict, and the different types of addicts there are. Brandon (Michael Fassbender) hides his addiction, he is clearly ashamed of his addicted (hence the title) and it is something he chooses to live with alone. But this becomes a struggle for him as his sister shows up in his life, causing his quiet and shameful life to be turned upside down.
Shame is a raw film, which definitely suits Michael Fassbender as an actor; I couldn’t really picture anyone else in the role. He needs to reveal so much of himself (and I don’t just mean with getting his clothes off), and he needs to go into some dark places, at times it isn’t easy to watch, but it is a reminder that addiction isn’t meant to be something pleasant. This shows so much about addiction, there are all sorts of references to addiction throughout the film, which you may or may not pick up on. While it focuses on addiction from Brandon’s point of view, his case is quite extreme and it affects him to his core. Where as his boss David (James Badge Dale), flaunts his lifestyle (he’s married but hits on women all the time), and shows absolutely no shame in doing so in front of Brandon. He is the opposite of Brandon, and an interesting contrast.