Take Shelter. Tense, unsettling, playing on the fears of today, and deeply rewarding. A brilliantly paranoid and fearful Michael Shannon!
What is it about Michael Shannon? I only realised today, a day after having seen the film, the impression he had made on me in Revolutionary Road. His large presence, gangly walk and intense eyes create a character all of their own, and I’m pretty sure that everyone in the audience was feeling exactly like those in the town hall when he self destructs. It was uncomfortable, but utterly captivating, and once again, Jessica Chastain, pitch perfect as the comforting and loving mother and wife. On second viewing, Chastain shines through even more, and her importance is paramount in that incredibly powerful, moving, climactic scene where Curtis overcomes his fear.
The ending will divide users, but I absolutely loved the direction it went in.
This may be way off the mark, but so often, people, like Michael Shannon’s Curtis, coupled with a family history of mental illness, and a family of his own to look after, will look to a grounded, medical opinion to certify them as crazy, prescribe a treatment and cope, when the alternative answer is much harder to fathom, and seek.
The easy way out would be to solely credit the events of the film to Curtis, but the point seems to be that fear affects everyone, in a variety of forms, and isn’t going away. The storm may have cleared, and Curtis may have been proven right, but what of the impending tornado and destruction that will ensue? Or the ongoing economic hardships?
Facing the troubling times together with loved ones seems a step in the right direction.