June 7, 2013


Steve McQueen, 2011

          Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a man living in New York in his mid-thirties. During the day he has a sleek office job. At night he scours the darker side of New York looking to feed his sex addiction. His all-consuming proclivity spills into every facet of his life. His steady routine becomes disjointed when his unstable sister shows up, unannounced and uninvited, to his small apartment to crash on the couch to try and get over a recent breakup.
          It's probably the most courageous role seen from Fassbender, who figuratively and literally exposes himself quite a bit in the film. His character Brandon is heavily flawed, but effectively draws sympathy as you see there is nothing fun about his disease and that its a ever-going struggle. Brandon is vulnerable, presumably dealing with issues that go back to his childhood. The tension between the two siblings is so evident you could cut it with a knife. Sissy (Carey Mulligan), Brandon's sister, clearly has issues of her own but doesn't have the domestic comforts that Brandon can escape to. Instead, her escape is to run to him but it's not well-received. You get the feeling that Brandon is not able to associate any interpersonal relationship with anything other than a lack of a control of his sexual impulses - therefore, he keeps his distance when it comes to anything else.
          McQueen has a seemingly mature and experienced approach to his film-making. Even though the film is very bleak and disturbing at times, it's very nice looking. McQueen relies on a lot of beautifully glowy night-lit shots of New York juxtaposed with the not-so-nice features. Some gorgeous modern-decor martini bars but contrasted with cold fluorescent lit steel subway cars. The day-time scenes are very deliberately overcast. This is not a film where you will see blue skies and sunshine, people holding hands while joyfully singing in the middle of Times Square.

No comments:

Post a Comment