Directed by and written partly by Steve McQueen starring Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale. We follow Brandon, played by Michael Fassbender as we see into his life of privacy .and sexual addiction until his sister comes along played by Carey Mulligan and disrupts everything.
Let me start by saying, there was one line that I kept hearing about this film which you can’t really understand fully until you have watched it which is, despite this film being all about sexual addiction its the least sexy film imaginable on so many levels.
I can not imagine sitting down and watching this film with other people and feeling comfortable about the situation, though truly powerful and mesmerising it is easy to imagine how uncomfortable it would be to sit down and watch this with other people. Let alone in a cinema.
This film is amazing, just view it by yourself if you don’t want to be sat squirming in your seat, which is a bizarre idea to me.
In the world of films you occasionally come across a duo who both work well together and its a success on many levels, Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen are such a paring. They worked together on Hunger and this second outing is just as good if not better. The comfort almost pours out the screen from Fassbender as you can see just how at ease he is with McQueen, indeed you can see that this director knows how to get the very best out of his man and knows his strengths to a T.
I am a fan of Fassbender’s work though after watching this and Hunger its safe to say I’ve seen more of him then I have of a lot of people, certain images of him will never leave my mind. Though this does raise an interesting point, over the last 10 years or more we have been shown women revealing their breasts on a number of occasions, only recently have actors and actresses started revealing more, particularly on the mens side. Women have appeared naked in many films over the years but not the men. Now it seems to be a growing trend and ease that slowly men are being shown naked both front and back, my question is this. Why has this new development taken so long to come to full acceptance. Only in these last two years have we seen men naked and facing the camera, surely were not still working on the assumption that one sex is not as good as the other that it’s not a big deal for women to be naked, where as men should never be so. This frankly puzzles me every time. Is that in fact down the actors and the pressure they receive from hollywood and the industry that they put on actor to be naked.
There is a section from Rob Low’s book (things I only tell my friends) where he out lays the story of working on set with a younger actress and the director and industry putting pressure one the girl to bare her breasts for the camera, which would have worked had it not been for Lowe’s determination for this not to happen to the poor girl. It’s a subject I have wondered many a time when watching films where the woman is revealed but for the men there is a carefully placed plant or table blocking the valuables from camera.
Michael Fassbender is very much comfortable with being naked on-screen, which with a film such as this makes perfect sense to see nearly everyone naked.
I digress from the film but will now head back to it, though a large discussion should be done on that topic.
This is not a light-hearted film, though brilliant it is also incredibly dark and spiralled downward until the end, do not let this put you off it though. Everything from the plot to the script and the performances is excellent. The chemistry between Mulligan and Fassbender is fantastic, you actually believe they are related.
One particularly amazing scene is on the train with the chemistry between Fassbender and the girl he looks at, the eye contact and body language from both of them is spot on.
This film will stay with you and follow you for a while after seeing it.
OVERALL**** Excellent work by all involved and a mezmerizing peice of work. However can not stress strongly enough to watch this by yourself. really. Do not watch with family unless you want to be given the most uncomfortable 2 hours of your life.