Thursday, 12 January 2012

Shame: Yay or Nay?

How boring would life (and cinema!) be if we all agreed on everything. Steve McQueen new film, Shame, has been riding a wave of good reviews since its Venice premiere last September. It was my most anticipated film at the London Film Festival, hence an even more crushing disappointment when it turned out to be a big let down for me.

And as I have been reading mainly positive reviews since, which, no matter how articulate, make me wonder if we have actually watched the same film, it became even more obvious how the critical process works. For, unless you are writing a very technical review that concentrates more on the technique, the emotional and almost subconscious connection is what comes first, and only then do you build arguments to support a positive review of a film. For example, I know full well that The King's Speech is probably a better film than Madonna's W.E. Yet I found the former an efficiently made snooze fest, lacking of any originality, and the latter a messy and flawed guilty pleasure. No prize for guessing which one I enjoyed more.

I was asked to write a review of Shame for Mostly Film, (which turned out to be an interesting exercise as I had already written one months ago for my own blog and had to start over from scratch again). But rather than just putting a link for this review, I thought it would be interesting to counter my mostly negative review with a positive one. As much as I have disliked Shame, it is not one film you can easily dismiss as you would for the crass Transformers 3, and is one of those rare things, a film I did not enjoy yet would still recommend.

So here is my review for Mostly Film:

And here is the glowing review from film blogger extraordinaire Ashley Clark. If you are not already following his blog, and him on Twitter, well you should:

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