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Saturday 14 January 2012

No One’s Holding Any Breath

We stay in bed as naturally we don’t expect the gasman to turn up at 8am, if at all and I’m certainly not getting up on the off chance. Anyway it says he’ll call when he’s on his way. Only, he doesn’t and at 8.30am he’s banging on the door. ‘Hi, I’ve come to disrupt your Saturday morning’ he tells us, or something like that.

He fixes the heating, sort of. No one’s holding any breath around here.

I take the dogs on a very frosty park and have no problem with Doggo refusing to go through the gate. I have no idea what L was on about. The frost does seem to perk him up though and he overdoes it with the football, perhaps I should have rationed him, and he’s limping around by the end of the day.

At the match, Derby again bore the pants off us but again win 1-0. I’ve said this before but, yet again, this is looking uncannily and rather worrying like the Billy Davies promotion season.

Tonight’s film is Shame.

On the surface Brandon (Michael Fassbender) seems to be your typical office worker and typical red-blooded male, checking out the girls from behind, eyeing them up on the tube and if he can pull someone in the bar after work then he wouldn't turn down any action offered to him.

Only I hope she doesn’t want to talk afterwards. She’ll likely be ushered out of the door pretty quickly, that is if she got in the door in the first place and wasn’t just offered a quickie in the street.

The Buzzcocks would have said ‘he's an orgasm addict, he's always at it’. Nipping off to the toilets if he gets a spare minute in his work day, for a quick one to one with his right hand and then later, a night of virtual sex in front of his laptop.

Although he seems to have little problem picking up women, he prefers prostitutes. He finds it easier to relate to them, or with his right hand, than with a real person. No strings attached. No feelings, no emotions. We’re led to believe he’s a junkie feeding a drug habit.

He certainly struggles to relate to his younger sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) who turns up unannounced in his shower one night. Sissy has her own problems, is incredibly needy but probably just requires a bit of attention and to spend some time with her brother. They are both a bit of a mess, in different ways.

Brandon resents having her crash at his place as it interferes with his routine and he grows increasingly frustrated with her invasive presence. He also isn't too thrilled when she mimics some of his own behaviour by hooking up with a married man (James Badge Dale) who also happens to be Brandon’s boss. More than anything it’s not terribly good form to shag your brother’s boss in your brother’s own bed.

When Brandon actually tries to enjoy a date with a colleague from the office, it’s an uncomfortable night. He is much happier when he drags her out of work the next day and takes her to a hotel for, yes a quickie, but he can’t go through with it with someone he actual knows and respects.

Meanwhile the secrecy around his habit is starting to unravel. His computer at work is taken away by the IT department, to have all the porn he’s downloaded on to it removed. Luckily they don’t seem to suspect him. Then Sissy stumbles across one of his virtual friends on his laptop. Slowly his world begins to spiral out of control as he is forced to hunt outside his normal boundaries to feed his addiction.

There really is not that much to the film story wise. It’s a portrait of a man struggling with his inner sexual demons and it leaves a lot unresolved. There are no reasons offered for his addiction or for what is behind the strained relationship with his sister.

There’s plenty of explicitness, which in a film about sex addiction is understandable. However there is also quite a bit of gratuitous nudity... unless the film is hinting at something deeper. Sissy certainly isn't shy about being naked around her brother. If that had happened in our household there would have been plenty of choice words said on both sides.

At least the nudity isn’t discriminatory. A Michael Fassbender full frontal is followed by Carey Mulligan full frontal but then there’s that scene of Fassbender urinating... Was that really necessary?

The film sort of hangs around a shocking scene that comes towards the end, which I won’t divulge but again we’re left wondering, does it change anything?

Right at the close, he sees a woman on the tube, the same woman he eyed up right at the start of the film. On that occasion, as he pretty much telegraphed his intentions to her, she was happy to give him the eye back, clearly interested. Then when she got up, we saw her wedding ring and her expression change to one of shame for flirting with him before she ran out on to the platform. Despite running after her, he lost her in the crowd, leaving him gutted he would have to go elsewhere for his next ‘hit’.

Now she has glammed up and appears to have had second thoughts about having second thoughts but is Brandon still tempted after all he’s been through?

We came out of the cinema and my first thoughts were ‘is that it?’ I was a little disappointed but then we talked about it constantly for the next 24 hours, still trying to decipher it. Which is always the sign of a good film.

(Saturday 14th January)

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