My Rating: 4 stars
Hmmm. I’m not sure whether it’s ok for me to admit that I liked this film in public, because it’s about some pretty dark, terrible stuff. Then there’s all the explicit sexual content, the full-frontal male and female nudity, and the NC-17 rating. I wouldn’t want my readers to think I’m a total pervert. Although, I haven’t shied away from this kind of material in the past, so I don’t know why you guys would all of a sudden sit up and take offense now. But all that smuttiness aside, I did think the story in this film was very compelling in a very heartbreaking and human way.
As we all know from the salacious promotional material and media hype, Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict in this film. And, it’s not your casual, man-slut, sleeps with a lot of chick from bars, kind of sex addiction. It’s more of a, regularly hiring prostitutes, blowjobs from strangers behind dumpsters, visiting gay bathhouses even though he’s not gay, computer hard drive ruining, kind of affliction. This is the serious kind. But, this guy has got some other pretty serious issues too. There’s a much deeper kind of mental illness at work. And, Fassbender does an excellent job of portraying the almost alien way that a man with this much mental and emotional damage would interact with other people. He has almost no comprehension of normal social boundaries—how he should interact with new acquaintances, his co-workers, or more skin-crawlingly, with his own sister. This guy really feels like a completely foreign creature—not understanding why his behavior is so upsetting to other people, but trying to pick up on enough social cues to fit in. It’s a very chilling image. But, I guess Michael Fassbender has always been pretty good at this kind of role. He plays a wonderfully terrifying android in Prometheus.
This is definitely not the movie you’d want to sit down and watch with your family. Although, I trust your judgment enough to know that much already. But, you know what? I still feel the need to warn you guys that this is not a date movie. Or, even a “go see it with your friends” kind of movie. Trust me. The mood will get pretty weird, really fast. I watched this one alone, and that’s really what I recommend for you guys too. Although, I suppose there’s a little wiggle room if you’re in one of those long-term, comfortable, yet sexless relationships. (Haha! I kid.)