Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Film Review - Take Shelter

There seems to be a new apocalyptic film out every other week lately and whilst most lack originality, every once in while a film comes along with a fresh perspective on the genre, Take Shelter is one such film, but does it deliver?

Focussing on the build up to a possible global disaster, Take Shelter looks at the life of Curtis, a family man who experiences visceral dreams and nightmares that appear to predict a forthcoming catastrophe. Throughout the film we are unsure if these visions really are prophetic or if Curtis is suffering from the same illness that affected his mother when she was his age, and it is the answer to this mystery that drives the narrative forward as Curtis delves deeper into his past whilst the visions that plague him become more profound.

Michael Shannon is perfectly cast as Curtis, he has been blessed with a face that always looks confused and this is a fitting characteristic considering his character's uncertain state of mind. Although it is a great performance, I can't help feeling that the Oscar buzz surrounding his role is any more than hot air, Shannon's explosive outburst halfway through the film is phenomenal but he spends most of the movie staring into the sky, completely mystified by the onset of gloomy weather.

The sunshine in Curtis' life is his deaf daughter Hannah, who he will do anything to protect and is one of the key reasons behind his decision to build the titular shelter that will keep his family safe if his predictions of a catastrophe ring true. Jessica Chastain is excellent as the glue that keeps the family together when her husband begins to show signs of instability, despite her doubts as to his seemingly crazy obsession with creating a shelter in their own back garden.

Continue reading at Front Room Cinema