Shame Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

The genre of the film “Shame” is a psychological drama. We observe the suffering of dependent people, we can follow their relationships and mental anguish. Dependencies are different, but the mechanism of dependent behavior in all cases is almost the same. An addicted person constantly returns to the object of his addiction, his whole life revolves around this object. Addiction destroys a person’s personality, forcing him to regularly feel shame and guilt, but at the same time look for ways to return to the same form of behavior again and again. Dependent people cannot be in healthy, adequate relationships with other people, but often attract the same dependent people to themselves.

Meaning of the movie title

The name of the film was not chosen by chance: the main characters commit shameful acts, following the lead of their own addictions and unhealthy tendencies. They understand that their behavior is socially reprehensible, they experience pangs of shame, but they can’t help themselves: they don’t know how to live differently and are not used to it. They cannot build stable family, love relationships, they live in casual relationships, emotionally devastating not only themselves, but also their “victims” – random people who are nearby.

Movie heroes

Brandon is a sex addict. There are addictions to alcohol, drugs, and this film demonstrates addiction to sexual pleasure. At the same time, the hero does not experience any emotional feelings for the women with whom he has closeness. He has separate feelings, separate sex. Constant sexual relations with different girls help him to assert himself, to feel alive, to feel that he is still capable of something. A person has practically no other interests besides satisfying his addiction. There are no family relationships, the work that has become familiar has also ceased to be interesting. And sexual relations bring diversity, adrenaline to his monotonous life. He cannot give up his usual way of life, although he feels shame and discomfort from his behavior.

The main character has a sister, Sissy, who creates a lot of problems for him: she asks to live in his apartment, sleeps with his boss, makes a suicide attempt, Brandon has to save her. Sissy is experiencing a lack of love and attention and tries to cope with this misfortune with her manipulations. She is charming, but emotionally extremely vulnerable. You can see the contrast between the characters of the protagonist and his sister: he is very cold and reserved, she is hot and emotionally unstable. Sissy is also dependent, but not on sex, like a brother, but on people’s attitude towards themselves. She is not independent, she has an urgent need for someone to take care of her, someone to be constantly there, support, solve her problems. She is childish, like a small child. The suicide attempt in her performance is demonstrative, it is not aimed at death, but at drawing attention to herself, so that she will be pitied and taken care of. And she achieves her goal – she receives attention and sympathy from her brother.

What does the film teach viewers?

The deep psychological meaning of the film “Shame”. Addiction is a big problem that needs to be dealt with with the help of specialists (psychologist, psychotherapist). Dependence can be not only on chemicals, but also on certain actions that a person constantly repeats, from which he experiences pleasure; People with an infantile personality type, with an immature psyche, are more often prone to addictive behavior. Also people who could not build their lives in such a way that it would be interesting to live without addiction. You need to try to build your life in such a way that it satisfies a person, otherwise you will have to escape from reality with the help of addictive behavior; In order for a person to grow up without a tendency to addictive behavior, parents must give the child enough attention and educate in such a way that the child absorbs certain values. Most often, dependent people in the family had certain problems or there was always a negative example before their eyes; If a person understands that he is addicted and cannot control his behavior, then it is not a shame to seek help from a specialist: all problems are worked out, there is always a chance to return to a normal lifestyle and overcome addiction, if there is a desire. None of the characters in the film tried to ask for help, although they need it.

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