When we really "want" something with anesthetic qualities and actually get it, we feel comfortable and safe in our own escape. We fall deeper and deeper into it. But getting out of it is a true test of psychological balance, especially for a lesser known addiction. Shame shows the intrusion, seduction, and it's ultimate punishment of reclusive behavior. So, here's what I've learned.
Want versus need.
Brandon thinks about sex all the time. The moment he wakes up, at work, and at night, it's an endless cycle. It's his pleasure. More disturbingly, it's his life and makes him feel like a predator. Yet he doesn't train himself to "want" when it comes to actual love and fellowship, and "needs" to get away from the movements of those he cares about and go straight into the world of sexual gratification. The montage in the beginning of the movie shows this, followed by the the phone calls he gets from his sister Sissy who unexpectedly shows up later in his apartment and the song "I Want Your Love" plays in the background. This metaphor is the starting point to Brandon's unexpected imprisonment. We always get what we want, but the question to ask is, is it worth having, and if so, why, and what effect will it have everything else?
The trivial part about Shame is Brandon's repetitive journey into sexual addiction. It don't seem like he's going anywhere and continues to crave more and more: New people, same kinds of sex. But the idea that's missing and what some people misinterpret, is that sex addicts are looking for something. Waiting. Thus leaves the user in disgust and, of course, like the title of the film, shame. For Brandon's case, when Sissy arrives, it makes an awkward entrapment, and like taking a cold shower, he takes immediate actions to clear himself from sex. Much like throwing away evidence at the scene of a crime. Another part to add is how each cycle is in a new fashion with different perspectives Brandon plays out. Almost like experimenting with music cords to get the tune and mood right.
Normal and real.
Attempting normal can be boring and doesn't have a sense of graduation. But Brandon, at one point in the film, decides to ask Marianne out for dinner. A date from his job. Not a hook-up. This is also a real commitment as oppose to other women Brandon goes for. Marianne is black and Brandon is a sex addict. The stunning revelation here is that Brandon chooses to make a decision to ask Marianne out in order to get him off of sex and into a more real, modern world of love. And going back to the "change" part, every woman Brandon has a quickie with is white, and Marianne acts like a signal to channel him out of his normal sense of addiction to a new environment that is confusing, yet secure for him. To make more sense of this without spoilers, watch the scenes with Brandon and Marianne.
What did you think of Shame? What were some things you found interesting?